Survey Indicates That Many Do Not Have Insurance Coverage for Supplies

| Dec 1, 1998

According to a survey conducted by Consumer Health Sciences (CHS), only 70% of people with type 1 and 2 diabetes who are insured have coverage for glucose meters. It was also revealed that 88% have coverage for test strips; 80% have pharmaceutical coverage; 55% have insurance coverage for syringes and only 12% have coverage for insulin pumps.

"Only 5% of the respondents in the survey used an insulin pump," says Christine Beebe, MS, RD, LD, CDE, director of the Diabetes Center in Chicago Heights, Illinois. "Most of the respondents didn't even know if they had coverage for insulin pumps."

Beebe says that legislation was just passed in Illinois to cover diabetes supplies, but the legislators left pumps out of the coverage because they don't feel that pumps are "medically necessary." Beebe went on to say that 91% of the respondents in the CHS survey had type 2 diabetes.

Ninety-six percent of the people in this survey, however, do have some type of health insurance for their diabetes.

CHC is a private source which specializes in conducting research, designing surveys, processing data and analyzing results for consumer health care information.

The survey, which was sponsored by an advisory board of physicians including Beebe and three others, was conducted on more than 3,600 individuals with diabetes. The survey revealed that about 30% have changed their medication in the past six months. Additional findings of the CHS survey were that:


  • 29% of all people with diabetes monitor their blood glucose more than once a day.
  • 19% of all people with diabetes monitor only once a day.
  • 17% of all people with diabetes monitor two to three times per week.
  • 8% of all people with diabetes monitor only once a week.
  • 9% of all people with diabetes monitor less than once a week.
  • 17% of all people with diabetes do not monitor their blood glucose levels at all.

The CHS survey also discovered that:

  • 35% of all people who do monitor their blood sugar monitor more than once a day.
  • 23% of people who do monitor their blood sugars monitor once a day.
  • 20% of all people who do monitor their blood sugars monitor two to three times per week.
  • 10% of all people who do monitor their blood sugars monitor once a week.
  • 11% of all people who do monitor their blood sugars monitor less than once a week.

The CHS survey also found that an alarmingly low number of individuals participate in diabetes management programs.

"Although there are numerous diabetes management programs, only 10% of individuals with diabetes belong to a program," states Jane A. Donohue, PhD, president of Consumer Health Sciences. "Doctors, hospitals and clinics should be aware of these findings, and the design and marketing of these programs should be based on patients' needs and expectations, which are reflected in the results of our survey."

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Categories: Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Health Insurance, Insulin, Insulin Pumps, Syringes, Type 2 Issues

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