Australia’s HBF Will No Longer Carry Insulin Pumps in Basic Policy


AUSTRALIA – Starting July 1, 2018, HBF, West Australia’s biggest insurer, will no longer cover insulin pumps in its basic policy. That could mean a premium increase of up to $8,000 a year.

The Telethon Type 1 Diabetes Family Centre said many families would struggle to pay increased premiums of up to $800 a year because it is lower income families that have the basic policies.

Diabetes Family Centre’s CEO, Rebecca Johnson, said that insulin pumps are used by about half of WA children with Type 1 diabetes and need to be replaced every four years. Also, she said that due to cost, insulin pumps are primarily accessed through private health insurance.

According to the ADA, an insulin pump means better diabetes care. There are distinct benefits of having one if you have Type 1 diabetes, an already challenging and expensive disease to manage.

Advantages of using an insulin pump

  • Eliminates individual insulin injections
  • Delivers insulin more accurately than injections
  • Often improves A1C
  • Usually results in fewer large swings in your blood glucose levels
  • Makes delivery of bolus insulin easier
  • Allows you to be flexible about when and what you eat
  • Reduces severe low blood glucose episodes
  • Eliminates unpredictable effects of intermediate- or long-acting insulin
  • Allows you to exercise without having to eat large amounts of carbohydrate

HBF’s commercial general manager Sasha Pendal said the change in cover for insulin pumps only affected those on the lowest hospital policy. It also appears that not covering insulin pumps in basic plans is common for other health insurers and HBF is just “falling in line.”

Originally sourced from Struggling diabetics hit by HBF change.

Read All About Insulin Pumps.