JDRF Launches Health Insurance Guide to Help People with Type 1 Diabetes


JDRF has announced the launch of a new Type 1 Diabetes Health Insurance Guide to help people living with T1D choose an insurance plan and navigate the issues that arise in getting care and treatments covered by their plan.

For people with chronic conditions like T1D, health insurance is critical in helping manage the disease. JDRF’s online guide offers relevant materials to help families with T1D understand their coverage options and what to consider when selecting and using a health insurance plan.

The guide is designed to address knowledge gaps and help people with T1D address challenges in obtaining needed care and coverage. JDRF gathered insights from the T1D community – including people with T1D, caregivers and providers – to understand existing barriers and obtained advice from health insurance experts on ways to address them. The resulting guide covers nine key topic areas:

  1. How to Choose an Insurance Plan
  2. Understanding Prior Authorizations
  3. Understanding Common Insulin, Insulin Pump, CGM and Test Strip Issues
  4. How to Apply for an Exception
  5. Understanding Insurance Denials and Appeals
  6. Considerations when Changing Treatments
  7. Working with Employers
  8. Help with Healthcare Costs
  9. Common Insurance Terms

“While JDRF’s research efforts to cure, prevent and treat type 1 diabetes and its complications are vital, it’s also our job to help people access and afford breakthrough treatments,” said Cynthia Rice, JDRF Senior Vice President of Advocacy & Policy. “This Health Insurance Guide provides resources to deal with common reimbursement challenges that can prevent access to the tools needed to live and manage this disease every minute of every day.”

This comprehensive guide is the first of its kind for people with T1D, who face obstacles obtaining treatments due to complex insurance procedures. T1D is a chronic autoimmune disease that must be managed throughout the day and night. The impact and treatment of this disease varies by individual, so it is vital that insurance companies offer people with T1D coverage for a range of tools to manage this disease. For example, the best device or insulin for one person with diabetes may be inappropriate for another, so limited drug formularies or exclusive contracts that provide coverage for only a limited range of medical devices could prevent people with T1D from getting the best care. JDRF has been urging insurers through its Coverage2Control campaign to provide policies that work for people with T1D, and is issuing this new informative resource to support those with T1D and their families as they navigate their health insurance options. 

The development of the guide was sponsored by two generous JDRF donors, Tom Parker, Chief Investment Officer of Systematic Fixed Income at BlackRock, Inc., and Michelle Griffin, a member of the JDRF International Board of Directors, where she is chair of the Development Committee and serves on the Executive and Audit Committees. Griffin is also an Executive Board member of the Greater Bay Area Chapter and received the 2017 Jim Tyree Chairman’s Choice Award, which recognizes a national volunteer leader who has made a significant and noteworthy contribution to JDRF U.S.

The guide is available at www.jdrf.org/insurance. To learn more about JDRF’s Advocacy agenda to help the T1D community access the latest care, visit www.jdrf.org/advocacy.

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