JDRF Celebrates UnitedHealthcare’s Expanded Insulin Pump Coverage

In a victory for JDRF’s Coverage2Control Campaign, people with T1D now will have more choice in how they manage their diabetes 

New York, July 1, 2020—JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, today announced a victory for its Coverage2Control campaign. Thanks to a concerted effort that included mobilizing JDRF’s grassroots network of T1D champions all across the nation, UnitedHealthcare (UHC), the nation’s largest insurer, will now cover Tandem Diabetes’ insulin pumps in network, thus making more options available to those with diabetes who use this technology to control their disease. 

“UHC’s decision to cover Tandem Diabetes’ insulin pumps is a direct result of the T1D community’s advocacy,” said Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF President and CEO. “Our Coverage2Control campaign brought together thousands of T1D champions demanding UHC give people with T1D the freedom to choose the insulin pump that’s right for them. Today’s decision reflects the power of the collective voice of our community. We thank UnitedHealthcare for ensuring its members have access to technology they need to stay as healthy as possible until we have cures for T1D.” 

Through the Coverage2Control campaign, JDRF rallied its community to put pressure on health insurers to provide affordable options, give people choices, and offer coverage for all therapies to help ensure people with T1D have what they need to survive. As a result, the 25 largest insurance companies covered the first artificial pancreas system, and many put in place options to lower out-of-pocket costs for insulin. However, UHC had a standing policy of limiting pump choice for adults, and then on February 1, 2019, UHC announced it would extend this policy to children. 

Using JDRF’s Coverage2Control campaign tools, more than 27,000 supporters sent 145,000+ messages to UHC leadership and shared their concerns on social media, urging them to change their decision. In October, Kowalski and other members of the JDRF senior leadership team met with UHC’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Richard Migliori, to make the case directly. 

“My son and I are thrilled to learn that UHC is opening the door to covering new technologies so those living with T1D can choose the management tools that are right for them,” said Jill Folsom. “As a young adult, my son was essentially forced off of his preferred pump, and – in using a pump that didn’t fit his needs as well – he’s seen poor outcomes as a result. I am so grateful for JDRF’s continued advocacy efforts to ensure people with T1D are empowered to make these important, personal decisions, and that health plans follow suit by covering a wide range of tools to manage the disease.”  

 Insulin pumps are not one size fits all, as models have distinct features and capabilities that work best for different people. An insulin pump is a personal decision that affects how people manage T1D, and people may choose to go without a pump if they can’t use one that works best for them.  Providing people with diabetes the full range of pump options makes it more likely that they will use these critical devices and realize the positive diabetes outcomes that come with pump usage. While JDRF works with its partners and researchers to unlock the science for cures, we are fighting for public and private sector policies that increase access to life-saving T1D treatments – including insulin, insulin pumps, artificial pancreas systems, and continuous glucose monitors — and sharing information on current programs to help with costs.  

About JDRF 

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 $2.2 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 five 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.