Need advice

I just found out my insurance for my medtronic pump supplies has been cancelled and what are the hazards of using my infusion set and reservoir twice for my pump?

Otherwise it could cost me $6000 per year

My Government insurance Pharmacare does not kick in until I spend at least $5000 on pump supplies myself
I know it is not the best practice but we are worried regarding finances.
I am from Canada

Any positive advice would be very considerate

it’s a really bad idea to try to keep a set in for more than 3 days because your body starts to reject it immediately. So you have to move them - you will need to use one of the metal ones. the metal “sure T” could be used more than once (off label - you are at your own risk) but you’ll need a lot of extra tape because once you rip off the tape to move it, you’ll need new tape to hold it in a new place.

the reservoirs could be good for 2 to 3 fillings but I’d toss them after that because it won’t be sterile after the 1st use and by the 3rd you could get into real trouble.

I can’t be entirely positive: I feel your pain, but this is risky behavior. you could get serious infections.

sorry about your insurance - how about a lawyer? What about insulin costs? at ~100 USD per vial, the infusion sets are not the only costs. Are you going to pump regular insulin?

pumping is the most expensive of all the ways to treat Type 1, I don’t think that will change.

I’ve been able to get by on changing out my sets every 4 days, even 5 occasionally. I’ve been pumping for 12 years and have not had any infections or other issues. Some people experience reduced effectiveness in their insulin after the 3rd day due to getting too warmed by body heat, but I haven’t had that problem. You may want to go back to a combo of Regular and Ultralente or Lantus. Not the best option, but it works.


So I was to mean you had a different insurance before and now you find you can’t get supplies with this new insurance?

I usually leave my infusion sets in for four days without too much problem although sometimes I will notice that it gets infected or at least there’s a lump. I usually use my legs.

One of the better options you have is to actually ask for donations of pump supplies. Many people have stockpiles of extra supplies and you may be able to buy them on the black market. There’s another site called You might also solicit on this web sight as well. I have donated both insulin and pump supplies to various individuals and foundations that send them overseas.

I don’t think you can get in trouble for asking for pump supplies but if you can’t get the DNA human insulin your pump will not be functioning properly anyway. And a bottle of Humalog cost $250 and Lantis runs about $250 retail. You can get some discount cards for Lantis online and you might be able to get it free through the company if you show them some sort of financial hardship.

What type of pump are you using? Have you appealed to your insurance program about the medical necessity for you to have supplies for pump in order for you to maintain your health? They might be willing to pay for her medical pump supplies then to have you in the hospital and paid for that. Most insurance companies allow you to appeal in writing.

Thank you for your advice

It seems that all my insulin (Lantus)and testing is covered by my work insurance but not my pump and supplies.

Now my wife’s insurance has paid 70% for the pump itself and supplies eg but now they have said it is too expensive and have cut off the funding for infusion sets and reservoirs…
I use a MiniMed® Veo™ Insulin Pump 700 series

I have to fill up the reservoir ever two days and the cost is high $6000.00 per year which means the advice I need is if I can stretch the same infusion set and reservoir for two extra days to four???

what so you think ?

Why do you take Lantus on a pump? I did not think the 640 was available in the US yet. That’s the newest Medtronic pump?

My mistake I take Humalog with my pump

I’m lucky my insulin is covered with test strips but my insurance pulled the plug on pump supplies and I want to try to extend my use of infusion sets and reservoirs.

Changing the set every two days adds to the problem because that’s how much insulin I use.

My new diet may help
Fat sick and nearly dead diet
fruit and vegetables with some protein for dinner may reduce my insulin consumption but no carbs
dropped 3 kilos so far (I am too fat)

any advice is helpful


you can stretch a infusion system 4 days but you will have worse scarring and an occasional sore site/big bump as Scott said.

i still think you could use a metal infusion system longer by moving it to a new spot at day 3. both are risky.

in the states, we would get a letter from an endo with words like “frequent hypoglycemia” in the diagnosis. that, along with threatening the insurance company with a lawyer, and the willingness to actually get a lawyer, typically helped when they were hesitant to pay.

fruits for dinner are carbs! carbs will not help you use less insulin. low carb/no carb and add exercise, will definitely. good luck.

I too tend to go a little past 3 days with my sets and have not had any infection issues at all. I always fill my reservoir for about 130U for 3 days, but I don’t change until my pump (T-slim) tells me that I’m down to a small amount left. I haven’t gone beyond 4 days because I never fill my reservoir full, although I guess I could and probably go up to 6 days since it will hold 300U. However I believe going that long at one site not only risks infection, but also absorption problems. I do recommend diet (and exercise) as a critical companion to your pump.

If you live in BC,AB or NF it may be because I think these provinces have a provincial program which covers the pump and supplies. That may be why your wife’s insurance company will not cover it as they want you to try to qualify for that program. Its called the insulin pump therapy program or IPT for short and if your province does have it then it would be under the health services page on your provinces web site. Hope this helps.