New Illinois Law Expands Continuous Glucometer Insurance Coverage
SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) – More than 1.3 million people in Illinois have diabetes and need to track their blood sugar levels throughout the day. An invoice signed in right Wednesday could help people gain access to the latest technology, continuous blood glucose monitors, to check their blood sugar.
These glucometers are essential for people with type I and type II diabetes to avoid trips to the emergency room. The new law states that health insurance, or managed health plans, must cover continuous blood glucose monitors (CGMs) for diabetics in Illinois by January 1, 2024.
“Parents will be able to send their children to soccer practices, sleepovers and school trips without worrying about an unknown drop in blood sugar,” Governor JB Pritzker said. “Our emergency rooms will see fewer diabetes emergencies, which will save our state and our patients money in the long run.”
Pritzker and his sponsors said the new monitors should be covered by insurance like any other medical equipment. They believe this law can also help high-risk diabetics in minority and low-income communities who often cannot afford monitoring devices. Black, Hispanic, and Native American Illinois people are all at higher risk of getting diabetes.
“While Illinois has capped the cost of insulin, it’s only right that we include and manufacture life-changing devices that improve a person’s quality of life,” said Rep. Suzanne Ness (D- Crystal Lake). “And Senate Bill 2969 does just that.”
The law ensures that no one with diabetes can be denied coverage that could help them stay healthy and prevent other medical problems. The American Diabetes Association celebrated the implementation of this plan and noted that it will reduce the risk of dangerous diabetes complications.
“Advances in diabetes technology are changing lives,” said Gary Dougherty, director of state government affairs for the American Diabetes Association. “Continuous blood glucose monitoring provides glucose readings every few minutes, helping to improve diabetes monitoring and management.”
The plan was passed by both houses with strong bipartisan support this spring. Sen. Robert Peters (D-Chicago) said no one with diabetes should have to worry about being able to afford the equipment to monitor their blood sugar.
“Seeing this enactment into law is an important and necessary step in bringing true public safety to every community and ensuring they have the health care they need in times of grave crisis, pain and fear.” , Peters said.
The Senate Black Legislative Caucus Chairman also said that patients with diabetes should not be treated any differently than others and that the state must do everything possible to ensure affordable health care for all.
Pritzker signed the legislation with young diabetic patients at Lurie Children’s Hospital watching excitedly. One of these patients, Talia Schinasi, 9, was able to talk about her personal experience and the benefits she will derive from the law. Talia already wears a CGM to monitor her blood sugar.
“It helps me because it’s really easy,” she said. “I don’t have to prick my fingers, which is to say use a needle to check my blood sugar several times a day. It helps my parents not to worry about me because they can check my blood sugar themselves over the phone.
Talia said the law is good because no one deserves finger shots and kids can just be kids.
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