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CGM to be Covered by UnitedHealthcare for Adults with Type 2 Diabetes on Insulin

Coverage for CGMs in people with type 2 diabetes is now being offered by UnitedHealthcare. The expansion will cover both short-term and long-term CGMs.

Starting July 1, 2023, UnitedHealthcare – the biggest health insurance company in the United States – is providing coverage for its continuous glucose monitors (CGM) for people with type 2 diabetes who need insulin. 

This announcement comes soon after previous changes were made to expand CGM access to more people. Earlier this year, Medicare in the U.S. expanded its CGM coverage for those with type 2 diabetes who are taking insulin and for members who are not on insulin but have a history of hypoglycemia. Canada’s Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program also began covering CGMs for all members who manage their diabetes with insulin.

"The policy update from UnitedHealthcare marks an important milestone for increased access to long-term CGM for people with diabetes,” Tim Goodnow, president and chief executive officer of Senseonics, said in a press release. 

UnitedHealthcare will cover both short-term and long-term CGMs depending on one’s need for the device. Short-term CGMs are prescribed by a healthcare professional and are meant to be used for 3-14 days, whereas long-term CGMs are used for more than 14 days. Someone might use a short-term CGM due to insurance coverage reasons or simply to better understand their blood glucose levels without the need for frequent fingersticks using a blood glucose meter.

Companies like Senseonics are also working on a longer-term implantable CGM that can remain inserted for up to 365 days. The ENHANCE trial is currently underway and will evaluate the accuracy and safety of the potential new system.

UnitedHealthcare is the largest health insurance company in the United States, covering over 45 million people. The expanded coverage for many CGM devices means that millions more people will now be eligible for CGM coverage under the insurance plan. You can find the UnitedHealthcare updated CGM policy here.