How Much Does an Insulin Pump Cost?

Last Updated on March 15, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

For Americans living with type 1 diabetes, insulin pumps can provide effective insulin delivery to control blood sugar. But with rising insulin costs already burdening patients, how much does purchasing an insulin pump add to your healthcare expenses?

In this guide, we’ll break down the typical costs of insulin pumps and associated supplies, factoring in insurance coverage and financial assistance programs. You’ll get a full picture of the affordability of insulin pump therapy for managing type 1 diabetes. Let’s evaluate these important health devices.

How Much Does an Insulin Pump Cost With Insurance?

The insulin pump alone costs anywhere between $500 and $1,000 out-of-pocket, assuming at least partial coverage. Realistically, with supplies and some insurance contribution, plan for $3,000 to $6,000 in first-year costs, then $2,000+ yearly after that. Here’s a look at typical costs, assuming some insurance coverage:

Insulin Pump Device – $500 to $1,000 out-of-pocket on average. Depends on brand, coinsurance, deductibles, and plan.

Infusion Sets – $100 to $300 per month. Cost varies based on brand, insulin pump compatibility, and insurance.

Other Supplies – $50 to $100 per month. Includes batteries, reservoirs, inserters, prep wipes, pump case, etc.

Initial Purchases – $250 one-time. Extra batteries, cases, prep supplies, etc.

Warranty – $0 to $500. Optional coverage for repairs/replacements.

Total First Year Cost – $3,000 to $6,000. This covers the pump, monthly supplies, accessories, & warranty. Make sure to understand all the factors that contribute to your costs.

How Much Do Insulin Pumps Cost Without Insurance?

The upfront cost of purchasing an insulin pump out-of-pocket without insurance can be very expensive. Here are typical prices for some of the top models:

  • Medtronic 770G or 780G: $6,500 – $7,500
  • Tandem t:slim X2: $4,000 – $5,000
  • Omnipod DASH: $3,950 – $4,500
  • Insulet Omnipod 5: $5,000 – $5,500

So without insurance coverage, most modern insulin pumps range from $4,000 to $7,500 just for the initial purchase. Supplies and accessories add hundreds more per month.

These high out-of-pocket costs put pumping out of reach for many without insurance or other assistance. Financial hardship programs from device makers can provide discounted pumps based on your income.

Healthline reports that a new insulin pump costs about $6,000 out of pocket, plus another $3,000 to $6,000 annually for ongoing supplies, like batteries and sensors.

GoodRx lists insulin pump prices ranging from $4,500 to $6,500 without insurance, with additional annual costs for supplies estimated at $1,500.

Common Insulin Pump Models and Costs

Here is an overview of pricing for some of the top insulin pump brands and models:

Medtronic Insulin Pumps

  • Medtronic 770G: $6,500 – $7,000
  • Medtronic 780G: $7,000 – $7,500
  • Medtronic 670G: $6,000 – $6,500 (older model)

Tandem Pumps

  • Tandem t:slim X2: $4,000 – $5,000
  • Tandem t:flex: $5,500 – $6,000
  • Tandem t:slim G4: $4,500 – $5,000 (older model)

Omnipod Pumps

  • Omnipod DASH: $3,950 – $4,500
  • Omnipod 5: $5,000 – $5,500
  • Omnipod (older model): $3,500 – $4,000

Other Models

  • Accu-Chek Solo: $5,500 – $6,000
  • Ypsomed YpsoPump: $3,500 – $4,000

Why Insulin Pumps Offer Benefits for Type 1 Diabetes

Before diving into costs, it helps to understand the key benefits of insulin pump devices:

  • Deliver insulin infusion throughout the day to match your body’s needs, reducing dangerous blood glucose spikes and dips.
  • Eliminate the need for multiple daily insulin injections with syringes or insulin pens. Just change the infusion set every 2-3 days.
  • Allow you to fine-tune your insulin dosing around meals and activity.
  • Monitor blood sugar continuously with integrated sensors.
  • Can help reduce hypoglycemia during severe hypoglycemic events.

For many patients, pumping insulin results in improved blood sugar control versus daily shots. But purchasing a pump has costs to consider. Insulin pumps can also be used for Type 2 DIabetes.

What Impacts the Cost of an Insulin Pump?

Several factors affect insulin pump pricing:

  • Pump model – Newer “smart” pumps cost more than basic models. Popular brands like Medtronic and Tandem range from $4,000-$7,000.
  • Insurance coverage – Varies greatly. Medicare and private insurance have different pump benefits. Out-of-pocket costs depend on your plan details.
  • Supplies – Infusion sets, reservoirs, batteries, and accessories add hundreds per month in supplies.
  • Warranty – Plans covering parts, repairs, or replacements add expense. Warranty durations vary between pump brands.

Pricing also depends on whether you purchase directly from the pump manufacturer or go through a medical supply company. Let’s look closer at costs.

Insulin Pump Cost on Medicare

Medicare covers insulin pumps under the Durable Medical Equipment benefit. This provides 80% coverage once you meet your deductible. You pay 20% coinsurance.

With Medicare:

  • The pump itself is covered at 80% in most cases.
  • But supplies are covered under your Part D prescription plan – your out-of-pocket costs will depend on the plan details.
  • Total yearly costs range from $1,000 to $4,000+ out-of-pocket based on pump model, deductible, coinsurance, and supplies.

Medicare pump coverage has a lot of caveats, so understanding the details is crucial. An insurance agent can explain your potential costs.

What Private Health Insurance Typically Covers

Unlike Medicare’s broad DME coverage, private insurance pump coverage varies:

  • Nearly all plans cover some models, but preferred brands differ. Make sure yours covers your desired pump.
  • Copays average $500 to $1,000 for the device itself.
  • Supplies may be covered but often have 20-50% coinsurance.
  • Yearly out-of-pocket costs range from $2,000 to $5,000+. Deductibles and supply coverage make a big impact.

Confirm exactly what models, supply quantities, deductibles, and coinsurance apply to optimize coverage. The insurance process can be frustrating when trying to get clear policy details on pumps.

You might also like our articles about the cost of the Yellow Fever vaccine, blood transfusion, or Rabies vaccine.

If Insurance Won’t Cover the Pump You Want

  • Appeal their decision if you believe their approved device isn’t sufficient for your clinical needs. Have your endocrinologist write a letter of medical necessity.
  • Request an exception if your preferred pump is excluded. This may require changing prescription plans during open enrollment or finding alternate coverage.
  • Self-pay for the pump without insurance if affordable. Ask the device company about cash pay discounts or financial assistance programs.
  • Consider an older used pump model if allowed by your provider. These cost 50-75% less than new retail pricing.

Persistence and appeals may be required to get the pump choice your diabetes care requires. Discuss all options with your provider.

Tips for Affording Insulin Pump Therapy

Insulin Pump on BeltHere are some tips to make insulin pumps more affordable:

  • Research patient assistance programs from device makers if facing financial hardship. These can provide free or discounted insulin pumps based on your income.
  • Buy supplies in bulk whenever possible to get volume discounts. Order ahead so you don’t run out.
  • Use coupons from pharmacy benefits managers like CVS Caremark to save on supplies.
  • Check if costs are lower going through your prescription plan vs medical equipment coverage.
  • Consider switching to a high-deductible health plan with an HSA to get a lower monthly premium.
  • Where allowed, purchase used pumps from reputable sources to save substantially.

With some savvy management of benefits, supplies, and out-of-pocket costs, insulin pumps are feasible for many people with type 1 diabetes. Putting your health first is most important.

Final Words

While not cheap devices, insulin pumps provide excellent blood sugar control. Discuss costs and financial assistance options with your healthcare team to make this therapy accessible. Consistent insulin delivery lets you live life to the fullest!

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