First things first – registering with the NDSS
When a patient is diagnosed with diabetes, they should register with the Australian Government’s National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS), which is administered by Diabetes Australia. The NDSS provides subsidised insulin pump consumables, including reservoirs and infusion sets.
Who is eligible for NDSS subsidies?
To be eligible, the patient must be an Australian resident, hold a current Australian Medicare card or a Department of Veteran Affairs file number and should have been diagnosed by a medical practitioner.
Several countries also have a reciprocal agreement with Australia. If the patient is visiting Australia, and comes from a country with a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement, they may be entitled to temporary NDSS registration.
Please note, different rules apply for patients with Type 2 diabetes, and in most instances, these patients may not be able to access these subsidy programs. However, Medtronic is currently offering a grant on insulin pump consumables for patients with Type 2 insulin dependent diabetes, with the opportunity to save up to 90% on RRP30.This means that pump consumables will cost roughly the same as they do for people with Type 1 Diabetes who can access the NDSS consumable prices. See here for more information.
Getting access to insulin
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) covers a considerable proportion of drug and medication costs through Medicare. Patients can get insulin from pharmacies with a prescription (from a GP or Endocrinologist) using the PBS; one prescription is generally 3-6 months’ supply, depending on the patient’s insulin needs.
Other subsidy options for Type 1 patients
Another option for subsidy assistance for Type 1 diabetes patients is the Type 1 Diabetes Insulin Pump Program (IPP) – an Australian Government program administered by JDRF, which provides means-tested subsidies for insulin pumps for people under 18 years of age. Find more information here:
Medtronic’s Bridging the Gap Program
As part of our on-going support of diabetes management, we are able to offer our Bridging the Gap Program. Through this program, successful applicants31 will have access to a Medtronic insulin pump for the remainder of their health fund waiting period, up to a maximum of 12 months.