N.B. expands insulin pump program to include glucose monitoring

New Brunswick has enhanced its Insulin Pump Program to offer continuous glucose monitoring coverage to eligible diabetes patients.

In a news release on Wednesday, officials said the move is the second phase of a $2.1 million plan to upgrade the province’s diabetes management resources.

The government also expanded the insulin pump program to include people aged 26 and older, and updated client and family contribution calculations to include more income categories.

“More than 5,000 New Brunswickers are expected to benefit from this change, which allows diabetes patients to better monitor and manage their glucose levels on a daily basis,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch in the release.

“Better management of a person’s diabetes helps to prevent serious complications, reduce hospitalizations and promote better overall health.”

The province said the new coverage is available to anyone who requires intensive insulin therapy delivered by a pump or at least three daily injections.

That coverage extends to people of all ages who meet the medical eligibility criteria, and who meet the income-testing process.

The program will pay for benefits not already covered by other public and private third-party payers like employment benefits.

“We know that families affected by diabetes often have trouble covering the costs of their diabetes management devices and related supplies,” said Fitch.

“The changes the government has funded this year are designed to help relieve some of those burdens and to allow New Brunswickers touched by diabetes to live healthier lives.”

Glenn Thibeault, executive director of government affairs, advocacy and policy for Diabetes Canada, said he is pleased the province identified the challenges diabetes patients face, and is taking steps to make life easier for them.

“With the previously announced expansion of the insulin pump program and new funding for continuous glucose monitoring, more New Brunswickers will be able to monitor and manage their diabetes,” said Thibeault.

“That should improve the health and well-being of diabetes patients in New Brunswick and allow the government to save costs from unnecessary hospitalizations and other interventions.”

More information on how to apply is available online.

An online application process will be made available in the coming months, allowing for simpler renewal of coverage.

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