Guaranteed insurance coverage for glucometers

ILLINOIS (WEHT) — Illinois may cover the cost of glucometers through health insurance.

The governor’s office said Gov. JB Pritzker signed a law requiring insurance and managed health plans to provide coverage for continuous blood glucose monitors. The press release states that continuous blood glucose monitors are essential devices for patients with type I and type II diabetes to maintain safe blood sugar levels and avoid the need for emergency medical care. The bill was signed at a children’s hospital which is also an endocrine center that treats diabetic patients.

“One of the first doors I knocked on when I first ran for this role was answered by a 20-year-old with type 1 diabetes,” said State Representative Suzanne. Ness (D-Crystal Lake). “His number one priority was the cost of healthcare as it was going to affect him for his entire life. Although IL capped the cost of insulin, it is only right that we include and manufacture more affordable devices, which are life changing and improve a person’s quality of life.SB2969 does just that.

The governor’s office says continuous blood glucose monitors track blood sugar levels throughout the day, allowing patients to use up-to-the-minute data to assess their diet or insulin needs. Although diabetes is a manageable disease, disease monitoring and control tools are critical to successful management. Failure to treat high or low blood sugar can lead to serious illness for patients, often requiring expensive emergency care and hospitalization.

The press release says diabetes disproportionately affects minority and low-income communities, further exacerbating the inequity caused by expensive monitoring devices. This legislation ensures that those in Illinois most at risk cannot be denied coverage that could prevent further medical complications.

“The signing of SB 2969 is another example of Illinois leading the fight for those in our communities who need it most,” said State Rep. Kambium Buckner (D-Chicago). “Glucose meters provide users with important information about their blood sugar levels and can literally mean the difference between life and death. Removing barriers like this brings us closer to our goal of total equity in health care serving all Illinoisans.

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Justin D. O'Neill