Insulin Pumps & Insulin Pump Supplies

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Insulin pumps

Insulin pump supplies

Insulin Pumps

PharmaCare covers insulin pumps for patients age 25 or younger with Type 1 diabetes or other forms of diabetes requiring insulin. Supplies for insulin pumps are covered for both children and adults.

Who is eligible for coverage?

Insulin pump coverage is available to patients who:

  • are 25 years of age or younger, and
  • have Type 1 diabetes or another form of diabetes requiring insulin, and
  • are covered under Fair PharmaCare, Plan C (B.C. Income Assistance Recipients), Plan F (Children in the At Home Program) or Plan W (First Nations Health Benefits), and
  • have confirmation from their diabetes physician that they meet the medical criteria, and
  • have Special Authority approval for coverage (see “How do I obtain coverage?” below).

How much will PharmaCare cover?

PharmaCare covers 100% of the cost of one of the approved insulin pumps every five years, subject to the rules of your PharmaCare plan. For instance, if you are:

  • on Plan C (B.C. Income Assistance), PharmaCare covers 100%
  • on Plan F (Children in the At Home Program), PharmaCare covers 100%
  • on Plan W (First Nations Health Benenfits), PharmaCare covers 100%
  • if you are covered under the Fair PharmaCare plan, PharmaCare covers 70% of costs above your deductible and 100% of costs once you reach your family maximum.

Important: Be sure to register for Fair PharmaCare before purchasing an insulin pump to ensure you get maximum coverage.

How do I obtain coverage?

The first step is to speak to your diabetes specialist. If you meet the criteria for coverage of a pump, the specialist will submit a Special Authority request to PharmaCare.

If the request is approved, we will send an approval letter to your specialist's office. Your specialist will give you a copy of this letter to take to the insulin pump vendor of your choice.

Important: Be sure to wait for the approval letter before purchasing the insulin pump. PharmaCare cannot provide retroactive coverage for purchases made before approval is confirmed.

Where should I buy my insulin pump?

You may buy your insulin pump from any approved vendor in B.C. 

The following vendors are approved to submit claims to PharmaCare for insulin pumps:

  • Animas Canada, a division of LifeScan Canada Ltd.
  • Insulet Canada Corporation
  • Medtronic of Canada Ltd.

Note that to be eligible for PharmaCare reimbursement, claims from approved vendors must be submitted electronically via PharmaNet. Paper ("manual") claims are not accepted.

What if I encounter problems using a pump instead of regular injections?

Speak to your diabetes specialist. If, in consultation with your specialist, it is determined that you cannot continue using a pump, you may be able to return it. Some vendors may allow you to return the pump for a refund in the first 90 days after purchase. In this case, the vendor will reverse the PharmaCare claim and refund any portion of the cost you paid.

How often will PharmaCare cover a new pump?

PharmaCare covers only one insulin pump every five years and does not cover repairs.

You may want to check that your home insurance covers any damage to the pump that is not covered under the manufacturer warranty.

What if my pump stops working before the five year period is up?

If your pump is beyond economical repair, contact the vendor of your pump and ask for a letter confirming your warranty expiry date. Take the letter to your diabetes physician. Your specialist will include the letter from the vendor with the Special Authority request to PharmaCare.

What if I already own an insulin pump that was not covered by PharmaCare?

PharmaCare coverage is available if:

  • you meet the medical criteria for a subsequent pump, and
  • your current pump is four or more years old, and
  • the manufacturer's warranty has expired.

Your specialist can submit a Special Authority request to PharmaCare for coverage of a new pump.

Contact your pump vendor for a letter confirming your warranty expiry date. Your specialist will include the warranty end date information with the Special Authority request.

Insulin Pump Supplies

Who is eligible for coverage?

PharmaCare covers certain insulin pump supplies if you are covered under:

This coverage is available whether or not your pump was covered by PharmaCare.

PharmaCare pre-approval is not needed for insulin pump supplies.

Which supplies are covered?

PharmaCare covers infusion sets/kits and insulin pump reservoirs/cartridges as shown on our Insulin Pump Supplies page. PharmaCare does not cover batteries, battery caps, adhesive pads, skin wipes, continuous glucose monitors, etc.

Where should I buy my insulin pump supplies?

PharmaCare reimburses claims for eligible insulin pump supplies purchased from pharmacies and approved insulin pump vendors who submit medical supply claims on PharmaNet.

B.C. pharmacies and the following vendors are approved to submit claims to PharmaCare for insulin pump supplies:

  • Animas Canada, a division of LifeScan Canada Ltd.
  • Insulet Canada Corporation
  • Medtronic of Canada Ltd.

Note that to be eligible for PharmaCare reimbursement, claims from approved vendors must be submitted electronically via PharmaNet. Paper ("manual") claims are not accepted.