Does Medicare Cover a T Slim Insulin Pump?
Medicare Benefits Solutions
Sep 7, 2022
Do you have questions about Medicare coverage for diabetes equipment and testing supplies? If you have diabetes, insulin pumps, like the T Slim Insulin Pump, are covered by Medicare as a type of durable medical equipment (DME).
Medicare and Insulin Pump Coverage
As technology in the medical field continually advances, diabetics who are dependent on insulin continue to have more options available to meet their unique needs.
Insulin delivery systems such as the T Slim Insulin Pump allow patients to have the proper amount of insulin throughout the course of each day, without needing any manual injections. But are insulin pumps covered for Medicare recipients?
TIP: Find out which Medicare plans provide coverage for diabetes supplies and compare them against your existing coverage.
Insulin Pumps Covered by Medicare
If you receive Medicare benefits and are a diagnosed diabetic requiring insulin to help manage your blood sugar levels, you may qualify for Medicare coverage of the T Slim Insulin Pump under Medicare Part B. For a pump to be considered eligible DME, or durable medical equipment, a diabetic person could be required to provide proof that more than three insulin injects are needed each day.
Does Medicare cover insulin pumps for type 2 diabetes?
- Part B will cover insulin only when used with a Medicare-approved insulin pump
Part D Medicare covers certain diabetes supplies such as:
- Alcohol wipes
- Glucose test strips
- Blood glucose monitors
Medicare benefits may cover only specified brands of pumps. However, the T Slim Insulin Pump is eligible for coverage under Part B if the recipient’s requirements qualify a pump as DME. Unlike the insulin that’s used in manual injections, insulin used by pumps is also covered under the same DME rules. However, coverage options do change throughout the course of the year.
Medicare recipients that are interested in getting a T Slim Insulin Pump should first verify eligibility for DME use before they get a device. Talk to your physician directly for specific details regarding insulin pumps. You may also want to use an online Medicare plan finder to help you find a plan that covers diabetic supplies and services.
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The Difference Between Insulin Injections and Insulin Pumps
Using insulin injections or pumps to help manage the symptoms of diabetes often boils down to the preference of the individual. Either method is used to provide accurate, timely doses of insulin for patients who are maintaining their overall health requirements. The main difference between the majority of insulin pumps and insulin that’s injected, however, is the type of insulin that each of them uses.
Most pumps use bolus, or rapid-acting, insulin. Manual injections allow patients to use long-lasting (basal) insulin. Of course, this always depends on the patient’s individual needs and circumstances.
There are some critics of pump systems. These critics point out that using rapid-acting insulin may put patients at risk of diabetic ketoacidosis if there is ever a pump failure and the patient doesn’t immediately notice the problem. On the contrary, individuals that prefer using an insulin pump tend to praise how easy they are to use. They also enjoy the flexibility that using an insulin pump has when adjusting the rapid-acting doses to respond to food consumption and daily activity levels.
With all of that said, the main deciding factor for diabetics who are considering a tubed insulin pump, or a tubeless insulin patch pump like Omnipod, is whether they believe they’ll be able to appropriately use the pump in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. In other words, insulin-dependent people who doubt that they’ll understand or comprehend how to properly navigate the settings of a pump often feel a lot more comfortable taking insulin via manual injections.
TIP: Did you know we have an entire series of diabetes-related content available on our Advice Center blog?
How Does the T Slim Insulin Pump Work?
The T Slim Insulin Pump is currently one of the smallest insulin pumps that you’ll find on the market. In fact, it’s very easy to wear, comfortable, and highly discreet. The T Slim unit works the same way most other insulin pumps do. It provides regular doses of insulin through a thin plastic tube, or cannula, which is attached with a medical-grade adhesive to the injection site.
It has a rechargeable battery and a touchscreen, as well as sophisticated software that will help integrate it with a Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor, or CGM. When the T Slim unit is paired with Dexcom CGM, it can predict all low blood sugar levels. It then automatically adjusts the insulin amounts it releases in response to the fluctuations.
This insulin pump includes a feature that lets you download daily reports to your computer or laptop. You also have the option to use the pump’s controls with a smartphone app. T Slim users are able to share their data with up to 10 contacts. This helps them screen for issues with the pump or glucose levels.
TIP: Discover the top 10 best low glycemic index foods for diabetics.
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