Advancements in research and technology have made living with T1D more manageable than ever before. We have pumps, CGMs, and remote monitoring capabilities at our disposal. We even have a closed loop insulin delivery system (aka artificial pancreas) available!
However, all the technology in the world is useless unless people have access to it. While most health insurance plans cover CGMs, one group of people still has to pay out-of-pocket for a continuous glucose monitor: Medi-Cal recipients. Medi-Cal is California’s state-run health plan for seniors, persons with disabilities, and low-income individuals. They are some of the most vulnerable people in the state. Medicare, Covered California, the California Children’s Services program, and 90 percent of managed care plans cover CGMs. Medi-Cal does not.
AB 447 gives Medi-Cal recipients access to continuous glucose monitors
To address this problem, California Assemblyman Adam Gray introduced AB 447, a bill that authorizes Medi-Cal to cover CGMs as a “medically necessary” device for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Using a CGM can substantially improve the health and quality of life of Medi-Cal patients. What’s more, patients without CGMs are more likely to experience expensive health complications. A UCLA study found that 75 percent of hospital care costs for patients with diabetes is paid by taxpayers, so AB 447 would help lower health care costs in the long term.
The good news is that California Legislature has unanimously passed AB 447! Now it’s up to California Governor Jerry Brown to sign AB 477 into law. Once Gov. Brown’s signature is on this bill, thousands of Medi-Cal recipients will have access to continuous glucose monitors.
Passing AB 447 — how you can help
We need your help to encourage Governor Brown to sign this bill! Contact Governor Brown, express your support for AB 447, and encourage him to sign it into law. Here’s how:
1) Contact Governor Brown at this address:
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
2) Call or fax his office
3) Send an email
Click on this link to send an email: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/ Scroll down to find AB 447. On the next page, make sure to click on “pro”, then write in your comments.
Below are some guidelines to help you compose your letter. Whether you write, call, or email, be sure to make a personal appeal. Tell your own story of how a CGM has reduced the risk of health complications and improved your quality of life. Thank you for your help, and let’s all keep our fingers crossed that AB 447 passes!