Letter: Medicare and continuous glucose monitoring



I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 37 years ago and have seen incredible advances in technology and treatment since then. One of the most important improvements has been to glucose monitors- when I was first diagnosed I had to go to the hospital for glucose test, then home glucose testing kits came along, and now an incredible device called a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is available. It constantly monitors my blood sugar and sets off an alarm when my glucose is not in optimal range. Thanks to the CGM, I can maintain my active lifestyle without fearing dangerous and sneaky low blood glucose episodes.

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover CGM technology. I fear that when I go on Medicare, I will no longer have access to this life-saving technology. This would profoundly affect my ability to control my diabetes and prevent costly complications like blindness, heart problems and kidney disease. However, legislation in the Senate would change this and require that Medicare cover CGMs for seniors with insulin dependent diabetes. The vast majority of private insurance companies cover this technology, and it is time Medicare does the same. Age should not be a barrier to treatment for seniors.

I want to express my gratitude to Senator Donnelly for standing up for the diabetes community and encouraging Medicare to give seniors the tools they need to better control their diabetes.

Bob Fowler