Breakthrough T1D Launches Health Insurance Guide to Help People with Type 1 Diabetes Navigate Common Insurance Challenges

—New guide provides detailed resources to help people understand insurance options and obstacles—

NEW YORK, December 1, 2017 – Breakthrough T1D, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, today announced the launch of a new Type 1 Diabetes Health Insurance Guide to help people living with T1D choose an insurance plan and navigate the issues that arise in getting care and treatments covered by their plan.

For people with chronic conditions like T1D, health insurance is critical in helping manage the disease. Breakthrough T1D’s online guide offers relevant materials to help families with T1D understand their coverage options and what to consider when selecting and using a health insurance plan.

The guide is designed to address knowledge gaps and help people with T1D address challenges in obtaining needed care and coverage. Breakthrough T1D gathered insights from the T1D community – including people with T1D, caregivers and providers – to understand existing barriers and obtained advice from health insurance experts on ways to address them. The resulting guide covers nine key topic areas:

  1. How to Choose an Insurance Plan
  2. Understanding Prior Authorizations
  3. Understanding Common Insulin, Insulin Pump, CGM and Test Strip Issues
  4. How to Apply for an Exception
  5. Understanding Insurance Denials and Appeals
  6. Considerations when Changing Treatments
  7. Working with Employers
  8. Help with Healthcare Costs
  9. Common Insurance Terms

“While Breakthrough T1D’s research efforts to cure, prevent and treat type 1 diabetes and its complications are vital, it’s also our job to help people access and afford breakthrough treatments,” said Cynthia Rice, Breakthrough T1D Senior Vice President of Advocacy & Policy. “This Health Insurance Guide provides resources to deal with common reimbursement challenges that can prevent access to the tools needed to live and manage this disease every minute of every day.”

This comprehensive guide is the first of its kind for people with T1D, who face obstacles obtaining treatments due to complex insurance procedures. T1D is a chronic autoimmune disease that must be managed throughout the day and night. The impact and treatment of this disease varies by individual, so it is vital that insurance companies offer people with T1D coverage for a range of tools to manage this disease. For example, the best device or insulin for one person with diabetes may be inappropriate for another, so limited drug formularies or exclusive contracts that provide coverage for only a limited range of medical devices could prevent people with T1D from getting the best care. Breakthrough T1D has been urging insurers through its Coverage2Control campaign to provide policies that work for people with T1D, and is issuing this new informative resource to support those with T1D and their families as they navigate their health insurance options.

The development of the guide was sponsored by two generous Breakthrough T1D donors, Tom Parker, Chief Investment Officer of Systematic Fixed Income at BlackRock, Inc., and Michelle Griffin, a member of the Breakthrough T1D International Board of Directors, where she is chair of the Development Committee and serves on the Executive and Audit Committees. Griffin is also an Executive Board member of the Greater Bay Area Chapter and received the 2017 Jim Tyree Chairman’s Choice Award, which recognizes a national volunteer leader who has made a significant and noteworthy contribution to Breakthrough T1D U.S.

The guide is available at To learn more about Breakthrough T1D’s Advocacy agenda to help the T1D community access the latest care, visit



Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and — at present — nothing you can do to get rid of it.

ABOUT Breakthrough T1D

Breakthrough T1D is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, Breakthrough T1D has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF.


Media Contacts:

Kristy Evans

Eva Whaley