NEW YORK, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, today announced a new campaign for health coverage that enables better control with less burden for the 1.25 million Americans living with T1D.
The new campaign, dubbed #Coverage2Control, calls on insurers to provide three things for people with T1D to help them control their disease, including: 1) keeping out-of-pocket costs for insulin and diabetes management tools predictable and reasonable, 2) giving people the freedom to choose the insulin pump that's right for them; and 3) covering all life-saving technology, including artificial pancreas systems.
While new technologies have made dosing insulin easier, people with T1D must be able to access and afford insulin and diabetes management tools to survive. Recently, this has become even harder as costs have soared and as insurers have taken steps that limit both patient choice and coverage of life-saving technology.
"Very often I hear stories of families struggling to access the type 1 diabetes treatments they need to live," said Derek Rapp, president and CEO of JDRF. "Whether it's restrictions on insulin pump choice or spiraling and unpredictable costs, we need a solution. Insurance companies have a responsibility to help, and we urge them to provide the coverage our community needs to control diabetes, and lead longer and healthier lives."
People with T1D incur almost three times the level of medical expenses as compared to people without diabetes, according to one study. Recent steps by insurance companies are set to exacerbate this. The nation's largest private insurer, UnitedHealthCare, has entered into an exclusive agreement that limits its members to one brand of insulin pump – forcing them to pay far higher out-of-network costs if they want choice. Other insurers have stated they will not cover the artificial pancreas, a breakthrough technology that will automate blood-sugar management, dramatically reducing T1D-related risks, and give people with T1D more control over their disease than ever before.
People can show support for #Coverage2Control by signing a petition urging insurance companies to state publicly that they will ensure affordability, choice, and coverage for people with T1D.
"Diabetes is not a one-size-fits-all disease," said Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., chief mission officer at JDRF. "People with T1D should have access to the tools they need to control their disease at a reasonable cost, and we need insurance companies to make sure polices don't make it harder for people with T1D to control their condition."
The #Coverage2Control campaign is focused on meaningful, realistic actions that insurers can take to support the T1D community. For example, to keep out-of-pocket costs reasonable and consistent throughout the year, JDRF is urging insurers to offer options that could include: removing insulin and diabetes management tools from the deductible so costs are consistent throughout the year, as health plans do for "preventive" drugs; move them to tier 1 or tier 2 benefit levels; and provide cost-sharing as fixed dollar "co-payments."
This new initiative is part of JDRF's Advocacy Agenda for 2017. JDRF believes giving people with diabetes control over their choices and their healthcare costs is not only the right thing to do; it's also the smart thing. For insurers, quality, affordable coverage will help people with T1D avoid costly emergency room visits and healthcare complications. Moreover, making it easier for people with chronic conditions — like T1D — to manage their disease is a boon for the economy as it keeps people with T1D healthy and productive and reduces overall healthcare costs.
In addition to signing the petition, JDRF invites people to share their stories and encourage others to show their support on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Coverage2Control, and by following @JDRFAdvocacy.
Coverage is a fundamental part of healthcare — and affordability and choice should be, too. To learn more about #Coverage2Control, visit Coverage2Control.com.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and — at present — nothing you can do to get rid of it.
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF.
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