Home Diabetes Care Freestyle Libre Systems More Accessible Through Medicare Coverage Expansion

Freestyle Libre Systems More Accessible Through Medicare Coverage Expansion

Freestyle Libre Systems More Accessible Through Medicare Coverage Expansion


On Monday, April 17, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced expanded coverage of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) for more Medicare enrollees with diabetes, effective immediately. Over 65 million Americans use Medicare as their primary medical insurance—11 million live with diabetes, a lot of whom take insulin and can now give you the chance to access CGMs for the primary time. 

Expanded coverage will allow individuals with diabetes who use as little as one basal insulin injection per day to access a CGM. For a few years, individuals with diabetes on Medicare could only access a CGM in the event that they injected insulin three or more times per day. In some cases, individuals with diabetes who don’t use insulin but have a history of severe low blood sugar levels will even be eligible for a CGM.

This landmark decision is probably the most significant expansion of CGM coverage for individuals with diabetes in United States history.

Expanded access to Freestyle Libre

This expanded access includes devices reminiscent of the Freestyle Libre 2 and Freestyle Libre 14-day system, amongst others. 

Abbott is working diligently to get Medicare coverage for the Freestyle Libre 3 system, whose reader gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 14, 2023. Medicare requires a standalone reader for any CGM system approvals. 

The Abbott Freestyle Libre system is probably the most prescribed and inexpensive CGM system in america. This expansion is a large win for the diabetes community, and Abbott agrees. 

Jared Watkin, a senior vice chairman for Abbott’s diabetes care business, said, “Freestyle Libre technology was designed from the beginning to be inexpensive and accessible.” He continued that this expanded access will allow people to “spend less time worrying and more time living healthier, higher lives.” 

Continuous glucose monitors save lives

Access to CGM technology in america continues to be fraught. Many individuals either cannot afford them, their health plan doesn’t cover them, or they should jump through unattainable hoops to access them, even in the event that they have good medical insurance. 

However the science is evident—CGMs lower HbA1c levels and improve quality of life. 

CGMs are a few of the very best patient-centered technology available to enhance patient outcomes and make life with diabetes easier. This transformation shall be substantial for the tens of millions of Americans with diabetes on Medicare. 

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) also celebrates this modification. 

Chuck Henderson, the chief executive officer of the ADA, said, “We applaud Medicare’s decision allowing for all insulin-dependent people in addition to others who’ve a history of problematic hypoglycemia to have access to a continuous glucose monitor, a potentially life-saving tool for diabetes management.” 

This content mentions Abbott, an energetic partner of Beyond Type 1.

News coverage by the Beyond Type 1 team is operated independently from any content partnerships. Beyond Type 1 maintains full editorial control of all content published on our platforms.


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