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Important Info About the New Omnipod NDSS Subsidy in Australia | What You Need to Know

If you're reading this from anywhere outside of Australia, this does not apply to you whatsoever.

This is a brand new subsidy that hasn't even launched yet, it is just starting to make waves in Australian news over the past week.

Omnipod NDSS Subsidy headline in the Daily Telegraph
Omnipod NDSS Subsidy in the Daily Telegraph

Omnipod will of course, keep releasing more information about this as it goes on at this point. Somehow, more information has leaked online than was actually provided in the news articles, which is always the case.

Mass media is always spun in a way that makes headlines catchy and not so much 'the full truth. They twist things. It's not accurate.

When I first saw these headlines, I was first excited and then thought 'this is too good to be true.' 'Something's not right about this'. When I did the maths that was listed in the article: "costs will be cut by 95%"...

Currently, Omnipod costs $400 out of pocket Australian dollars per month.

95% taken off of that is $20. So my initial thought was, if they take 95% of that off of the initial cost, It'll be $20 for a box of pods. Of course, at first, I thought this would be amazing. Not only for me, but for everyone in the type one community who is currently unable to even consider the idea of an Omnipod. Why would you try it if you don't think you can continue it?

It's really unfair. The idea of trialling a product that you know you can't afford to continue with is like teasing yourself. Like me, when I put the Omnipod PEK (pod experience kit) on about a year ago.. and thought to myself 'I can't do this full time'.. but I was curious to say the least. No way in hell was I thinking about doing it long term. But then I had the idea to alternate between Omnipod Dash when I want or feel like the tubeless solution.. and my tubed Medtronic pump.. to make it affordable for me!

I'm simply not willing to spend that much money on my medical devices..

But most people don't even have the option to even consider the idea of spending $400 a month on an insulin pump.

So if like many others in the type 1 diabetes community, you see this article pop up online or in the newspaper or on tv, and see costs for omnipod are going to be cut by 95% and you know how to use a calculator... you're going to think it's $20 for a box of pods.

So.. here's the thing. When I started digging into things a little bit further, I stumbled across David Burren's Bionic Wookie article. He explained the subsidy in far more detail than you would ever find in any news article, however I am upset that this information was not provided to me by Omnipod personally - before it was placed in a news article and given false hope.

Realistically, it turns out in order to be subsidised, you need to meet conditions. No, it's not enough that you have Type 1 Diabetes. You also have to meet other 'conditions' that in this case involve paying more money.. Let me explain.

In short, these are the conditions for making use of the upcoming NDSS Omnipod Subsidy

  • Have private health insurance, and choose Omnipod as your new funded pump (this cost will vary depending on your insurer, but is usually upward of $120/month)


  • Pay a $168.27 / month membership fee (ongoing) to Omnipod directly for a minimum of 3 months


  • Be Registered with NDSS as having Type 1 Diabetes.

  • Be Registered as a trained Omnipod user (by being doing a pump start with a credentialed diabetes educator and referred by an endochrinologist) This does not expire.

If and only if, you can tick off the above conditions, can you access the pods at the reduced prices listed below:

  • With government concession: 1 box/1 month supply of pods (10 pods) - $29.30

  • With government concession: 1 box/1 month supply of pods (10 pods) - $22.20

So in short, and if we once again do the maths here, this puts you out of pocket of around $200 a month for pods with this subsidy - as opposed to the usual $400. Whether you choose the PHI option or if you self fund. This makes it a 50% cost reduction, not a 95% cost reduction. It's pretty simple. Not to say that 50% off isn't still a welcomed subsidy.. however I think its extremely important that we get the facts straight and that all Type 1 Diabetics in Australia have access to the full story about what is involved with this and any future subsidy. To sensationalise this subsidy as something that it isn't, is really poor form. For Australians living with Type 1 Diabetes who are already feeling hard done by and living with a condition they didn't cause or ask for, we deserve to know the full truth and not given false hope through media headlines. Not to mention, this less than detailed run down on the Aus government website that doesn't outline any of the actual costs .. only what the original cost is!

I think it's also important to note why they have spun the headlines as 95% off.. because if you were already paying for PHI until now, you will feel like this is a 95% reduction in cost. As you are only paying $29 for a box of pods as opposed to $400! That's where the 95% comes from. 93% to be more exact. However, you should still remember that you are already paying for PHI which is an out of pocket cost either way.

Anyway, I'm a numbers person. I like to crunch the numbers.

I hope this has helped clear up the requirements of this new subsidy and the truth of it all. I encourage you to look into things further when headlines become present about Type 1 Diabetes management tools and subsidies. There is always so much more to the story than advertised!

You also don't have to like agree with any of these statements. The way I feel about all of this is of course just my opinion based on my own experiences and the experiences of those i've spoken to in the Type 1 Community, but I want people to know the truth, and I think it's really important that people know what's going on.

Feel free to share this blog post with other aussie Type 1s you know or think would benefit from it! And come have a conversation with me over on instagram to tell me what you think of this new subsidy!

If you'd like to read the Bionic Wookie article by David Burren you can find it here.


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