Medicare guidelines do not provide for coverage of Continuous Glucose Monitors. I am an advocate for my husband who desperately needs a new CGM and previously received CGM coverage under private insurance before reaching age 65. I am a crusader for the entire diabetes community, whether you are on Medicare, will soon be on Medicare, have a Continuous Glucose Monitor presently, or might need one in the future.
In December 2013 Representative Carol Shea-Porter [D-NH1] introduced a bill into Congress, H.R. 3710: Medicare CGM Coverage Act, which provides for coverage of Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems by Medicare if recommended by a doctor. My recent post Baby Steps talked about the bill and many members of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) asked how they could become involved in this crusade.
I have just received an email from Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s Legislative Assistant, Marjorie Connolly, and she suggested the following:
- The most effective step you can take is to ask your own Representative to cosponsor the bill.
- Call your Congressperson’s DC office and ask for the email address of your Congressperson’s Legislative Assistant for health issues.
- Email the Legislative Assistant the text of Shea-Porter’s Dear Colleague letter (below) along with a personal note. That way they will understand why the issue is important to you, the constituent, and they will also have the Dear Colleague to show their boss so that he/she will know how to sign on.
The roster of the House of Representatives along with phone numbers is available at http://www.house.gov/representatives/
There are many diabetics such as my husband who never realized that when they went on Medicare, their CGM would no longer be covered. When the denial for coverage comes, and it inevitably will because Medicare considers the CGM a precautionary device, the arduous journey through the Appeals system is daunting, exhausting and psychologically taxing. The wait for a decision is beyond description and we have waited for 8 months. The entire process will only get harder as baby boomers become Medicare-age in greater numbers. We need to do something about this sooner rather than later.
The only way to fight Medicare’s denial of the CGM is to get the guideline changed. The best thing that we can do now is to let our voices be heard and join with Congresswoman Shea-Porter and her new cosponsor, Congressman Matthew Cartwright [D-PA17] in asking Congress to pass H.R. 3710, the Medicare CGM Coverage Act of 2014.
At the bottom of this post you will find clickable links to download a Sample Letter and a copy of Shea-Porter’s Dear Colleague email blast. Don’t delay because the sponsors of this bill have begun their full-on push for support and every voice is important. If you are a blogger and want to know how to help, click to download this document: Dear Fellow Bloggers_Final
Please contact me if I can assist you in any way. You don’t have to be a person with diabetes to write the letter. You can be the son, daughter, mother, father, friend or as myself, the spouse of a diabetic.
Please do this for all of those who so desperately need a CGM and can’t afford to pay for it out of pocket. Together we can do this.
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To download, click on this link: Sample Letter to Congress_Final
To download, click on this link: Dear Colleague_Final