With my first pump back in 1998, it was a nightmare. My abdomen was so bruised from 4-6 injections daily for 15+ years and it still wasn’t enough to prove my case. My first was a Minimed 507c and 6 brands later, Tandem has forever won my ❤️. Over the past 10 years, the process has been extremely smooth
It took my insurance company a while to one allow a pump then there was hoops to jump and tho I had trouble knowing my sugar was low it was another ten years to allow a cmg system dispite being in 5 coma
I have only ever used Medtronic (17+ years now). At first it was because I knew nothing about pumps, the nurse practitioner at my endo’s office told me I needed a pump and said she would take care of it. After two pumps I mentioned that I might like to try the Animas pump and she told me she only works with Medtronic and I would have to go somewhere else if I wanted another brand, so I stuck with them. When I got to the 530g pump that used the new type of sensors (Enlite), the sensors didn’t work for me at all. The old SofSensors worked fine but the Enlites just read low – every single one of them for months. So I went without a CGM for 4+ years and when I wanted to try Tandem/Dexcom my insurance wouldn’t cover it so I moved on to the 670g/770g which I am using now out of warranty. The good thing about Medtronic was it was super cheap on my insurance. Every 4 years a new pump was only a $25-$30 co-pay while Tandem was considered DME and subject to my deductible & co-insurance. Now they tell me that all pumps/CGMs will be treated the same and a new Medtronic pump will be just as expensive as Tandem. Of course they still prefer Medtronic and I will need prior authorization for Tandem/Dexcom.
I will be going through the process again this spring. We’ll see if it’s as painless as it was 5 years ago
Knowing nothing about pumps nor variety took what the last endocrinologist office offered. While I’m learning about other brands been using this over 5 years, the new prescription was easy (the rep called offering it, the doc filled out the forms, the copays were paid as I was setting it up). Medtronic has limits (target range) but all support is fantastic.
Going to the VA this week to see if I can retire before I die (using VA benefits), than will see again.
Started Pumping in 1998 when there were only the Two Brands and I chose Disetronic and was never forced into the Medtronic fold and have Never regretted it. Went through the c-Peptide challenge twice, never found out why the second was required but my Endo’s have always been supportive of my Independence,
In the age of the blazing speed of Amazon, many of us have gone from “instant gratification” to expectations of “instantaneous gratification.”
In America we must couple that expectation with a tonnage of paperwork in health care. It is hard-wired and institutionalized into the system. Some estimates are that it is 20% of the medical costs we all incur even without including the opportunity costs of time lost, time waiting, effort wasted, etc.
Yet, on medicare I get pump and pump replacements almost instantaneously. Good job by somebody I guess. 🤖
I am working with the Veterans Administration, and the process has been slow due to my travels and time off for the VA representative. However, although slow it has not been difficult.
My nurse practitioner made it easy. She did all the work—getting approval from my insurance company. I had BCBS at the time—22 years ago. I lost my insurance dispute to the pandemic layoff and could only afford minimal insurance which made getting supplies for the pump impossible. It took my endocrinologist 4 months to get approval but then it cost so much that I could not afford it. I had to go off pump/CGM therapy for a year until I could find better insurance. It was a stressful nightmare.
To be clear, my current pump was pretty easy, but I was never able to get approval to move to the Omnipod Dash and am currently trying to move up to the Omnipod 5, but without success. My insurance company will not cover pods (or Dexcom sensors for that matter) as a pharmacy benefit which is the only way Insulet offers the new pods. I’ve talked to my HR department this summer who let me know there may be better news for the 23 plan year if they are able to change this, but have still not heard whether it went through, even after several followups…frustrating, but I’m going to keep trying.
At the time the tech was relatively new. The choices were far far fewer, but the process of acquiring a pump took almost a full year, with three doctors arguing in my favor for one.
I do not look forward to the process a second time, it was that bad. Medical necessity meant absolutely nothing to the insurance company.
Insurance refused tandem due to agreement with Medtronic. I had to wait until tandem started the exchange program to get the x2. So frustrating that a company can be locked out of coverage completely.
There was a process to go through getting approval, etc., but in the end it was too expensive for this retired person. And, MDI works well for me!
I marked “very easy”, but after having read the comments of others, it reminded me that there were some issues. Edgepark, my DME supplier, would not sell an insulin pump. My insurance required me to use another supplier, Byram Health. I also remember having a c-Peptide test. Then a prescription from my doctor. I don’t remember it being too cumbersome though. So, I guess it was “fairly easy.”
It was very easy because I checked with my insurance to see what was covered, how much tubed pumps and supplies were covered under DME and if the starter kit and refill pods were covered on my drug formulary before I went through the process with my dr.
my only problem was agreeing to use the Control IQ wen it became available iI was fearful but its great the best A1Cs I have had in 44 yrs
Years ago Medtronic was the most available pump so I had that for years. Then switched to omnipod. Went on Medicare so had to switch back to Medtronic. Omnipods too expensive. Last year went back to MDI. Haven’t seen a pump that would make me switch back.
To truthfully answer this question I’d have to ask “WHICH ONE???”
Getting my first and my current pumps were basically effortless but getting my Medtronic pump and my first Tandem pump through the insurance I had at the time was almost as easy as finding teeth in a chicken’s beak. The ONLY reason my insurance allowed me to switch from Medtronic to Tandem was because literally weeks before my Medtronic pump went out of warranty, Animas had announced that they were ceasing their Insulin Pump availability and up to that point my insurance was saying I could get either an Animas or a Medtronic pump, but no other brands. Had Animas continued making Insulin Pumps, I would have gladly gone back to an Animas pump with their certified Waterproof rating as “Tested and guaranteed 100% waterproof at under over 12 feet of water for over 24 hours” which is a waterproof certification rating that absolutely NO OTHER Insulin Pump has even attempted to obtain, much less actually achieving.
Mostly there weren’t choices when I started pumping more than 20 years ago. I had to prove “medical necessity ” which took a few months. My first pump was about 4x the size of my current Tandem pump and the battery only lasted 24 hours, CGM was still a decade away.
After my doctor sent proof of necessity, I did not have any problems getting my pumps.
Medicare required me to have a C-Peptide test to approve pump use
Getting my current pump a few months ago was so easy that I barely remember the details. I think I just called Tandem and spoke with a rep. Getting my first pump was an entirely different story. The insurance rep told me that if I couldn’t do injections anymore because I’d lost both hands, it would be cheaper for them to send a nurse to my house every day. I’m not sure why they finally caved but it happened after I told her I’d already paid my $500 copay to Minimed. Glad that times have changed!
First had to get blood test done to check for T1D markers. It was positive so ins paid for it. It took 2 years of logging bg’s for ins to approve insulin pump. Took another 2 years after that for ins to approve a sensor. Now years later, medicare now dictating my supply amounts like I’m going to sell it on the streets or something! T1D just isn’t going to up and go away!
Doesn’t this list of responses say anything meaningful to the in-it-for-profit companies that we must deal with when getting life-saving equipment? Do they ever pay attention?
Medicare requires a c-peptide test and a same day blood glucose test. It doesn’t matter I’ve had T1 X 52 years and I’ve had the antibody test results
Waste of time, money, and blood.
My Endo and I have discussed using a Pump, but I travel a lot of work, and I have 2 – 4 year-olds and 2 – 14 month-olds at home plus a 6-year-old, and we feel like there’s too much happening to do a pump. Also, the cost associated with it is a little too much. We chose to try the CeQur Simplicity 3-day Insulin patch, and I love it. It’s very slim and is easy to use under my shirt. It’s helped me stay safer while driving and get my insulin quicker because I no longer have to pull up my shirt and use a Pen.
After 20byears with Medtronic I am in the process of switching over from Medtronic 770G to Omnipod and Dexcom 6 then 7. I am tired of Waiting for 780G upgrade and my pump warantee is expiring in 3 weeks. Also tired of unnecessary recalibrating nearly every nigh. Tired of the sensor failure rate of ~15%. My PA is working with Omnipod to get Omnipod aproval that has taken over a month now. So with all that, I clicked on very difficult.
So much pressure to use Medtronic. Even after switching back to MDI, I still was pressured. If not the pump, then their worthless pen.
I waited 60 years after dx to get a pump because I either lacked insurance and/or the ability to pay co-pays. After two years of using an Animas Vibe, I knew that I wanted to continue using a pump. When Animas folded my primary insurance was willing to cover a new pump but Medicare, my secondary insurance, totally refused. After months of appeals, physicians letters in my behalf, and endless hours on the phone I ended up putting what remained in my bank account to pay the amount Medicare would not and finally got the Tandem pump I wanted.
When I first decided I wanted a pump, my insurance carrier( and therefore my doctor) would not approve getting one and suggested different insulin regimens instead. After a couple years of that, I made an appointment with an endocrinologist in the next city, told her I had hypoglycemic unawareness, had to track my ups and downs for a couple weeks and finally got one. In the last few years, it’s become a given that a type 1 diabetic can and should have one. Mine is a dexcom which was the one I had heard was very good.
Lucky to have decent employer-provided health insurance, so my update to Tandem last November was pretty smooth.
I started the process of trying to get the Omnipod 5 in April 2022 and I spent months trying to get my insurance company to cover the Omnipod 5. I contacted by senators, office of personel manement, my union. I finally got it a few weeks ago. I never had this issue before. Years ago my dog literally chewed up my pump (it was the old type with the tubes that hung out in bed with you). They replaced it without a problem. Getting them to cover the Omnipod 5 took months of phone calls.
Very difficult because I started trying to get one before Medicare covered them. Now I hope the next upgrade will be easier.
It has taken awhile to get used to my new pump and the CGM and the process I have to go through to get everything done just right. If I forget to do every little step in the process of setting up my Dexcom just right, the system won’t work right, and unless I have another sensor I can use, I have to wait until I can get another one. Thankfully, Dexcom has been very helpful in replacing sensors I ‘be messed up. You can only go through the process once. If I mess up I have to wait until I can get a replacement. Dexcom has been really good at helping me out that way.
Getting a pump was not difficult, but the one I wanted, Omnipod without tubes with the small amount of insulin delivery was not possible, as it didn’t exist.
I am happy enough now with Tandem and control IQ and am waiting to see about the reviews of the current Omnipod before trying it out.
I had absolutely no choice of which insulin pump to opt for as I was the first person, in the area that I live, to be issued with a CSII (Continuous Subcutaenous Insulin Infusion) system and there was only MiniMed (now called Medtronic) pumps available in the country. (I live in the UK.)
My consultant endocrinologist was giving a speech in the United States about diabetes and was introduced to a former Miss America, Nicole Johnson (now Nicole Baker-Johnson) who was demonstrating an insulin pump that she was wearing. This was the first ‘truly portable’ insulin pump that my consultant had seen and asked for more details about how they worked, how well they worked, how efficient they are, etc. etc.
My consultant indicated that he had a patient in mind for this ‘new technology’ as I was spending as much time in hospital as I was at home.
Since that time I’ve stuck with Medtronic (MiniMed) although I do appreciate that other companies offer better alternatives. (I think part of the reason I’ve decided to ‘stick with’ Medtronic is due to the support that they’ve offered me over the years.)
The only difference that I notice is a rise in my blood glucose levels at night and that is due to the fact that it gets dark so early therefore I am not outside til late doing barn chores, yard work, swimming, riding, doing all the things you can do later into the evening. I have to raise my basil .5 to 1 until it starts staying lighter out.
If you have gone through the process of getting an insulin pump, how easy or difficult was it for you to get the pump you most wanted to use? Cancel reply
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Edgepark was a complete nightmare to work with. Took 3 months for them to ship me my new pump and supplies. I no longer use them for this reason.