Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed a new law requiring insurance and managed health plans provide coverage for continuous glucose monitors, a vital tool for diabetes care. Continuous glucose monitors are essential devices for patients with both Type I and Type II diabetes to maintain safe blood sugar levels and prevent the need for emergency medical care.
“No one—regardless of their socioeconomic status or insurance coverage—should go without the care they require,” said Governor Pritzker. “But for too long, diabetics have had to make the impossible choice between obtaining this necessary medical equipment or putting food on the table. That is an unacceptable burden to ask diabetics to bear, and this legislation will ensure insurance companies support these essential devices and those that use them”
More than 1.3 million Illinoisans are affected by diabetes in their daily lives. Continuous glucose monitors track blood sugar throughout the day, providing up-to-the-minute data for patients to use when assessing diet or the need for insulin. Although diabetes is a manageable disease, the tools to monitor and control the disease are critical for that management to be successful. Failure to treat elevated or decreased blood sugar levels can lead to serious illnesses for patients, often requiring emergency care and hospitalization.
Diabetes disproportionately affects minority and low-income communities, further worsening the equity gap caused by expensive monitoring devices. CDC data shows Black, Hispanic, and Native American Illinoisans are all at a higher risk of being diagnosed with diabetes. This new law ensures the most at-risk Illinoisans cannot be denied coverage that is desperately needed to stay healthy and prevent further medical complications.
“No person with diabetes should have to worry about being able to afford monitoring their blood sugar,” said State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago). “Diabetes patients should not be treated differently than anyone else. We need to be doing all that we can to ensure that we are providing affordable health care to all.”
“One of the first doors I knocked on when I first ran for this role was answered by a 20 year old with type 1 diabetes,” said State Rep. Suzanne Ness (D-Crystal Lake). “His number one priority was the cost of healthcare as this was going to affect him his whole life. While IL has capped the cost of insulin, it is only right that we include and make more affordable, life changing devices that improve a person’s quality of life. SB2969 does just that.”
“The signing of SB 2969 is another example of Illinois leading the fight for those in our communities who need it the most,” said State Rep. Kambium Buckner (D-Chicago). “Glucose monitors provide users with important information about their blood sugar levels and can literally be the difference between life and death. Removing barriers like this brings us closer to our goal of complete healthcare equity that serves all of the people of Illinois.”