Insulin Pump Therapy

Insulin pump therapy can give you the better control you want for your lifestyle.1, 2

What Is Insulin Pump Therapy?

An insulin pump is a small device about the size of a small cell phone that is worn externally and can be discreetly clipped to your belt, slipped into a pocket, or hidden under your clothes. It delivers precise doses of rapid-acting insulin to closely match your body’s needs:

  • Basal Rate: Small amounts of insulin delivered continuously (24/7) for normal functions of the body (not including food). The programmed rate is determined by your healthcare professional.
  • Bolus Dose: Additional insulin you can deliver “on demand” to match the food you are going to eat or to correct a high blood sugar. Insulin pumps have bolus calculators that help you calculate your bolus amount based on settings that are determined by your healthcare professional.
What is Insulin Pump Therapy?
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How does the insulin get into your body?

  1. Insulin pump
  2. Flexible tubing delivers insulin from the pump reservoir to the infusion set
  3. A tiny tube called a cannula is inserted under your skin to deliver insulin
  4. Insulin in the blood
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Components of Insulin Pump Therapy

  1. Insulin Pump

    A small durable medical device that has:

    • Buttons to program your insulin
    • LCD screen to show what you are programming
    • Battery compartment to hold 1 AAA alkaline battery
    • Reservoir compartment that holds insulin
  2. Reservoir

    A plastic cartridge that holds the insulin that is locked into the insulin pump. It comes with a transfer guard (blue piece at the top that is removed before inserting the reservoir into the pump) that assists with pulling the insulin from a vial into the reservoir. A reservoir can hold up to 300 units of insulin and is changed every two to three days.

  3. Infusion Set

    An infusion set includes a thin tube that goes from the reservoir to the infusion site on your body. The cannula is inserted with a small needle that is removed after it is in place. It goes into sites (areas) on your body similar to where you give insulin injections. The infusion set is changed every two to three days.

  4. Infusion Set Insertion Device

    An infusion set is placed into the insertion device and with a push of a button the infusion set is inserted quickly and easily.

Benefits of Insulin Pump Therapy

Insulin pump therapy provides more flexibility for your lifestyle while giving you greater control of your diabetes1.

  • More flexibility
    Since the insulin pump uses only more predictable rapid-acting insulin, you will not need to follow a strict schedule for eating, activity, and insulin injections. You can eat when you are hungry, delay a meal if you want, even broaden your food choices. If you do activities that lower your blood sugar such as riding your bike, playing with your kids, or gardening, you can reduce your basal rate so that your blood sugar does not drop too low. If you are sick or have an infection and tend to have an increase in your blood sugar, you can increase your basal rate so that your blood sugar does not go up too high. You can also change your meal bolus based on the foods you choose to eat.
  • Fewer injections
    With multiple daily injections, you can give yourself at least 120 injections per month. With insulin pump therapy, you only have to change your infusion set about 12 times per month.
  • Tighter control, fewer long-term complications
    With more precise insulin delivery, you can also gain better control of your diabetes. With proper insulin pump use, you can be four times more likely to achieve your target A1C and potentially reduce your low blood sugars by 84%. Since insulin pump therapy can help you achieve better control, you can reduce long-term complications of diabetes such as eye, heart, kidney, and nerve damage.1, 2, 3
  • Better predictability
    Insulin pump therapy provides more predictability in the way insulin works in your body. Traditional, long-acting insulin can “pool” under the skin, resulting in uneven absorption rates causing unpredictable lows and highs. Insulin pumps use only rapid-acting insulin, which is absorbed with more predictability so you can deliver smaller, more precise doses of insulin when that’s all your body needs.4
Benefits of Insulin Pump Therapy

Will Insurance Cover an Insulin Pump?

Private Insurance

Most private insurance companies cover insulin pumps under the durable medical equipment portion of your policy. Depending on your insurance coverage, you might have to pay a deductible and/or percent of the cost (co-insurance). If your deductible and out-of-pocket maximum has been met, the insulin pump might be covered at 100% by your insurance.

Government Insurance

Government insurances such as Medicare and Medicaid may cover insulin pumps depending on the state and requirements. A patient's out-of-pocket cost under government insurance varies depending on the policy.

Insurance Processing

When you start the process of getting an insulin pump, you do not have to worry about the paperwork. Medtronic will help you every step of the way by verifying your insurance, providing an estimated out-of-pocket cost, collecting the documents from you and your physician, and submitting all the required documents to your insurance company.

Payment Options

If you do not have insurance or need assistance with your out-of-pocket cost, Medtronic offers flexible payment options and a financial assistance program for qualifying customers.

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Is Insulin Pump Therapy Right for Me?

If you or a person you are caring for has diabetes and uses insulin (type 1, type 2, Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults), an insulin pump might be the right choice. People can benefit from an insulin pump who want to:5

  • Increase flexibility in food choices, eating schedules, and activities
  • Reduce the amount of injections
  • Lower their A1C level
  • Reduce hypoglycemic events (low blood sugars)
  • Gain tight control before and during pregnancy
  • Help with dawn phenomenon (high blood sugars in the early morning)
  • Help with delayed digestion (gastroparesis)
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    • 1 Doyle EA, Weinzimer SA, Steffen AT, Ahern JAH, Vincent M, Tamborlane WV. A randomized prospective trial comparing the efficacy of insulin pump therapy with multiple daily injections using insulin glargine. Diabetes Care. 2004;27(7):1554-1558.
    • 2 Bode BW, Steed RD, Davidson PC. Reduction in severe hypoglycemia with long-term continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion in type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 1996;19(4):324-327.
    • 3 The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial Research Group. The effect of intensive treatment of diabetes on the development and progression of long-term complications in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med. 1993;329(14):977-986.
    • 4 Lauritzen T, Pramming S, Deckert T, Binder C. Pharmacokinetics of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion. Diabetologia. 1983;24(5):326-329.
    • 5 American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists medical guidelines for clinical practice for the management of diabetes mellitus. AACE Diabetes Mellitus Clinical Practice Guidelines Task Force. Endocr Pract. 2007;13(suppl 1):1-68.
    • Diabetes pump or diabetic pump are terms sometimes used to describe an insulin pump.