Diabetes supplies

On this page: Insulin | Insulin pumps and supplies | Blood glucose test strips | Continuous glucose monitorsNeedles and syringes | Diabetes supplies under Plan W

Insulin

PharmaCare covers insulin if you are covered under:

  • Plan F (At Home Program)
  • Plan P (B.C. Palliative Care Drug Plan)
  • Plan W (First Nations Health Benefits)

​You do not need a certificate of training from a diabetes education centre (DEC) or primary care network (PCN) to qualify for coverage.

PharmaCare covers most insulin up to the regular retail price but does not cover a dispensing fee. For information, see the section 5.14, PharmaCare Policy Manual.


Insulin pumps and supplies

PharmaCare covers insulin pumps and insulin pump supplies. See Insulin pumps and insulin pumps supplies.


Blood glucose test strips

PharmaCare covers blood glucose test strips if:

  • You are enrolled in one (or more) of these plans:
  • Plan F (At Home Program)
  • Plan W (First Nations Health Benefits), and
  • Blood glucose testing has been deemed medically necessary for you, and
  • You receive diabetes management training from a DEC or a designated PCN. The centre or network must fax your training certificate to Health Insurance BC (HIBC)

In some circumstances, people who are unable to monitor their glucose levels due to disabilities may have a caregiver complete this training on their behalf. This could be a family member, friend, or professional caregiver who monitors their levels for them. Note: If a family member, friend, or caregiver completes the training on behalf of a patient, a training certificate must still be faxed to HIBC.

Once you receive your training, your DEC or PCN will give you a printed voucher. The voucher will allow one-time coverage of blood glucose test strips (to a maximum of $100). Use this voucher at the pharmacy if your eligibility information is not in PharmaNet when you make your first test strip purchase.

PharmaCare covers a maximum number of blood glucose test strips for an individual each calendar year. The amount is based on the diabetes treatment they are receiving. See Annual quantity limits—blood glucose test strips.


Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs)

PharmaCare provides coverage of a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) through Special Authority. Initial coverage is for 1 year. After the first year, your prescriber can request a Special Authority renewal for 5 years.

You are eligible for coverage if:

  • You are covered under one (or more) of these plans:
  • Plan F (At Home Program)
  • Plan W (First Nations Health Benefit)
  • Blood glucose testing with a CGM has been deemed medically necessary for you
  • You agree to comprehensive and age-appropriate diabetes education by an interdisciplinary diabetes healthcare team and commit to regular follow-up

If you are already using a CGM and would like to be covered by PharmaCare, your prescriber will still need to apply for Special Authority. You must meet the eligibility criteria.

You do not need a certificate of training from a diabetes education centre to qualify for this coverage.

CGMs and blood glucose test strips

If using a CGM, you may occasionally need blood glucose test strips (for example, if your CGM displays an error code or if your symptoms don’t match your CGM readings). CGM users are covered for 200 blood glucose test strips per year. See Blood glucose test strips above.


Needles and syringes

PharmaCare covers needles and syringes if you have insulin-dependent diabetes and you are covered under:

  • Plan F (At Home Program)
  • Plan W (First Nations Health Benefits)

You do not need a certificate of training from a DEC or PCN to qualify for this coverage.

For needles and syringes for insulin therapy, PharmaCare covers the regular retail price but does not cover a dispensing fee. PharmaCare does not cover safety needles.

For more information, see the PharmaCare Policy Manual, section 5.15.


Diabetes supplies available under Plan W

The following supplies are eligible for coverage under First Nations Health Benefits (Plan W) only:

  • Blood and urine ketone strips
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Lancets



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