Suburban Mother Receives Potentially Life-Saving Medical Device After Being Denied by Insurance

A suburban-Chicago mother battling Type 1 diabetes finally received the potentially life-saving medical device she said she needed.

But it was not an easy journey for Amy Carbone of Palos Heights, who quit her job and started a new one in order to obtain insurance that would cover what doctors consider a “state-of-the-art” insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system.

Carbone, who was featured in a recent NBC 5 Investigates report, said her new Medtronic MiniMed 530G with Enlite system is making life wonderful for her and her family.

“It gives me the power to be able to do what I need to do to keep myself healthy,” Carbone said.

Carbone is a Type 1 diabetes patient who also has hypoglycemia unawareness. Her condition makes it difficult to monitor blood sugar levels. She said prior to receiving the MiniMed device, her nine-year-old son once found her unconscious. She said she feared something like that would happen again.

Carbone said her new device notifies her of when her blood sugar goes down. She said it’s actually shut off twice due to low blood sugar. According to Carbone, the device is helping her family breathe easier.

“My son doesn’t have to go and check on me at night and my husband is relieved that we finally have something that’s helping,” Carbone said.

The MiniMed 530G typically sells for around $10,000.

United HealthCare had denied coverage of the device for Carbone. They wrote to her that the device was unproven.

The company told NBC 5 Investigates it would be happy to help Carbone find a device that meets her needs.

Carbone disagreed with United HealthCare’s decision. That’s when she decided to pursue other options, which led to her receiving the device from a different insurance company.

“Life is very good,” Carbone said.

According to medical experts, there are close to three million Americans living with Type 1 diabetes. While many major insurance carriers cover the MiniMed 530G device as long as members meet certain criteria, Medicare said it does not cover insulin devices with continuous glucose monitoring.

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