Eligible Albertans younger than 18 years who are insulin dependent can now get coverage for continuous glucose monitors through government-sponsored health benefit plans.

“Diabetes is a serious health issue and the number of Albertans with this condition is growing. The constant monitoring required can be complex and challenging, especially for young people and their families. By providing these young Albertans with the latest technology to better manage their diabetes, we can help them to maintain or even improve their health and well-being. This expanded coverage is part of the government’s broader plan to provide improved support to Albertans living with diabetes.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Health

Alberta’s government has a three-part plan to provide enhanced care and improved access to technology to Albertans living with diabetes:

  • Phase 1 of the government’s plan, implemented in August 2021, provides expanded coverage for diabetes test strips and other diabetes supplies.
  • Phase 2 of the plan, which came into effect Feb. 1, provides young Albertans with access to continuous glucose monitors.
  • The third and final phase will be announced in the coming months.

“This announcement is an important step towards improving access to life-saving technologies that can help people live safer, healthier and easier lives. Timely, equitable and affordable access to advanced glucose monitoring systems is a priority for JDRF, as individuals living with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) need to be able to choose the device that suits their specific clinical needs. We are pleased that the Alberta government has recognized the importance of covering CGMs and look forward to working to continue improving access in the province.”

Dave Prowten, president and CEO, JDRF Canada

It is estimated that more than 1,500 children will benefit from this expanded coverage and parents will save $4,200 annually for the cost of the continuous glucose monitoring system.

“It is difficult to control the blood sugar of a growing adolescent, given the growth spurts they go through. Having a CGM makes this not only easier, but ultimately safer for our growing teen. We welcome this announcement from the Alberta government, which will be life-changing for thousands of families affected by Type 1 diabetes.”

George Handley, JDRF advocate and parent of a child living with T1D

A health technology assessment of diabetes devices found that young Albertans benefit the most from the support provided by this advanced equipment.

“We welcome this announcement by the Alberta government to publicly fund continuous glucose monitors for eligible Albertans under the age of 18. These devices give people with diabetes a more complete picture of their glucose management and can therefore better inform short and long-term treatment decisions and contribute to improved health outcomes. This is a good first step and we look forward to the Alberta government expanding access to include all Albertans living with diabetes for whom these systems have been shown to provide benefit to their diabetes management.”

Laura Syron, president and CEO, Diabetes Canada

“We applaud the Alberta government for recognizing the value of real-time CGM and supporting access for its residents living with diabetes. For youth in particular, diabetes management can make day-to-day life a challenge. Now, more young people living with diabetes will be able to learn and play with their peers with far less worry for their families about their glucose levels.”

Laura Endres, senior vice-president and general manager, Dexcom Canada

“On behalf of those who will benefit tremendously from this announcement, we thank the Alberta government for providing CGM funding for Alberta youth. No two people experience diabetes the same way and they need access to a broad range of diabetes management solutions to find what works for them. These options include CGM integrated as part of a hybrid closed loop insulin pump system and standalone CGM, both of which have been proven to help improve health outcomes while also giving more peace of mind and flexibility.”

Laura Cameron, senior director of the diabetes portfolio, Medtronic Canada

Quick facts

  • In August 2021, Alberta’s government expanded coverage for blood glucose test strips and other diabetes supplies for Albertans with government-sponsored health benefit plans. This expanded coverage was Phase 1 of the government’s plan to provide improved care to Albertans living with diabetes.
  • About 386,000 Albertans are living with diabetes and that number is expected to increase to more than 550,000 by 2031.
  • In 2020-2021, the government spent nearly $155 million on diabetes medication and supplies. In addition, more than $20 million was spent to provide the Insulin Pump Therapy Program.