Access for All was launched in 2019 and has already driven major change. We are fortunate to have some of the most powerful young voices in the country advocating for our mission. These dedicated individuals have rallied communities across the country, and now several provinces and territories are in the process of revisiting their coverage and considering expanded access.
Diabetes devices are not a luxury, they are lifesaving pieces of equipment that help people living with T1D more closely monitor their blood glucose levels, helping to prevent hypo and hyperglycemic episodes and hospital visits.
‘Paying out of pocket is beyond what I can afford. I don’t consider my son’s CGM an ‘optional’ medical device…I’ll do whatever I need to do, and I know I’m not alone in this,’ says Nadine, parent of a child with T1D.
JDRF is pleased to announce that two more provinces recently added coverage options for continuous glucose monitors (CGM) over the past month, a great step forward in our goal of Access For All across the country.
On May 26, 2021, the Régie de l’Assurance Maladie du Quebec or RAMQ announced that it would start providing coverage of the Dexcom G6 CGM for people living with type 1 diabetes (T1D), age two years or older.
This announcement marks a significant accomplishment in increasing access to life changing technology used in the management of T1D for people in the province, as they will now also be able to order and pick up their Dexcom CGM supplies directly through their local pharmacy.
To receive coverage for Dexcom G6 under RAMQ, an individual must meet the eligibility requirements for the Public Insurance Plan. In addition, you must be:
- Living with T1D and aged 2 years or older. AND, you must have one or more of the following:
- Failure to achieve an appropriate glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) value despite taking prescribed medications and testing blood sugar regularly; or
- Have experienced frequent episodes of hypoglycemia in the past year despite following a treatment plan; or
- Are not able to recognize or report symptoms of hypoglycemia.
A local pharmacist can than provide a prescription for RAMQ approval, which initially lasts for six months and must be renewed every 12 months following.
For more information on coverage, please visit: https://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/en/citizens/aid-programs/devices-compensate-a-physical-deficiency
In 2020, JDRF turned its attention west to British Columbia working with the community to advocate for better diabetes device coverage. This included a pre-budget submission, holding community consultations across the province, and JDRF participated alongside Diabetes Canada and Type 1 Together in public and stakeholder consultations held by BC Pharmaceutical Services in August and September.
On June 11, 2021 British Columbia announced that it will begin covering Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) for those requiring insulin therapy aged 2+ who meet eligibility criteria. This coverage is effective as of June 11, 2021. An estimated 20,000 British Columbians are expected to qualify helping them better manage their disease.
In BC, Dexcom G6 sensors and receivers will be fully covered for those whose family income is <$30K annually or who are on government assistance and mostly covered for everyone else. Eligibility criteria is fairly broad and the government expects some 20K people to qualify.
British Columbia and Quebec now join Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Yukon in covering CGM for some or all with T1D. Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and the Yukon also cover Flash GM.
JDRF is very pleased with these announcements as a step towards universal coverage of life-saving diabetes devices, but there is still work to be done for true Access For All.
It is our hope that in the future other CGM products and the Flash GM will be covered in BC and QC – and the remaining provinces as well. Diabetes is a very individual disease that affects different patients differently. We believe in choice when it comes to treatment options, and for patients in consultation with their health care providers to decide on their best course of treatment.