On Friday I received a copy of an email from a Medtronic spokesperson announcing an important development in the battle to have continuous glucose monitors (CGM) covered by Medicare. This is an excerpt from her email:
We have some great news to share on the Medicare CGM Access Act! Late yesterday, Representatives Tom Reed, Dianne DeGette and Ed Whitfield introduced companion legislation into the House of Representatives.
As you’ll likely remember, back in July Senators Susan Collins and Jeanne Shaheen introduced nearly identical legislation to ensure access to CGM technology for people on Medicare. We can’t thank you enough for all the wonderful social media activity you’ve created to drive the community to urge their Senators to co-sponsor the bill. However, as you likely know, in order for a bill to become a law, it must be passed in both the Senate and the House before going to the President to sign or veto. So, this “companion bill”, which is nearly identical in content with a new number (HR 5644), is a key step in the legislative process.
Of course, this means it’s time to rally the community again, urging people with diabetes along with their friends and family to encourage their local Representatives (as well as their Senators) co-sponsor the legislation.
Once again, JDRF has provided great resources where people can read about the issue as well as identify and easily contact their own Representatives and Senators.
You can find these resources here. You can also feel free to share our blog post.
For those on Medicare and those of us soon to be there, this is hugely important. My CGM has been life-changing and I believe that it keeps me safe and improves my blood glucose profile on a daily basis. My co-blogger Sue from Pennsylvania has repeatedly shared the nightmare that she lives in because of the non-coverage of her husband’s CGM by Medicare.
What can you do?
- Contact your U.S. Representative to ask him/her to co-sponsor H.R. 5644 and advocate for seniors with diabetes who require a CGM.
- If you have not already done so, contact your Senators to co-sponsor S. 2689 and advocate for seniors with diabetes who require a CGM.
- Sign the JDRF petition: Tell Medicare to Cover Continuous Glucose Monitors for People with Diabetes. As of 9/21/14 the petition has 56,618 signatures and we hope to reach 100,000 signatures.
- Forward my blog to your friends and family urging them to take action.
- If you are a blogger, please share this with your readers. If you would like to copy my blogpost word for word, please do so!
The links provided by JDRF make it simple to contact your Senators and Representative. By filling in your name and address, your appeal is automatically sent to the correct government officials. You are able to personalize your message by adding a few sentences to explain why this is important to you. I used to be worried about trying to be an advocate. JDRF has streamlined the process and made it “easy-peasy.” You can complete Steps 1-3 in about 5 minutes.
I thank you for reading this. More importantly, I thank you for contacting your elected officials to help ensure that your fellow Americans on Medicare have access to continuous glucose monitors.
If there is anyway that I can help you, please contact me.
I hope that everyone that reads our testguessandgo blogs sign the letters to their Senator and Congresspeople as well as the JDRF petition. I can’t begin to stress how many people have contacted me over the two years that I’ve been involved in trying to get a CGM through Medicare desperate to get one and not being able to afford the device and sensors out of pocket. This bill is more important then ever since the legal system of appeals doesn’t seem to work (will be writing a blog about this in the next few days), and the only hope that we really have of getting the guideline changed is through the Senate, Congress and petition. Thanks Laddie for writing this blog and informing the readers of this blog how to contact their Senators, Congressperson and JDRF.
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