Frequently Asked Questions

Insulin Pump Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to renew my NSIPP coverage annually?

Each year in September, we will send a letter of renewal to everyone enrolled in the program.  By Dec. 31 of each year, you will be required to:

  • 1a. Re-apply for coverage (Oct 1 – Dec 31).  We will reassess your family income and family size to determine if there is a change in your copayment.  You will need the Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment for the most recent taxation year.  If you don’t have your Notice of Assessment, please contact the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • 1b.  Review, sign, and return the new Financial Agreement to the NSIPP Coordinator – even if your copayment is $
  • 2. Work with your Diabetes Health Care Team to renew your medical eligibility.  They will ensure that you are continuing to manage your diabetes safely using your insulin pump.

NOTE: To ensure that there is no disruption in your NSIPP coverage for next year, you must complete all the renewal steps listed above (1a, 1b, & 2) before Dec. 31 of the current year.

Which Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment should I use?

Your copayment is based, in part, on the Notice of Assessment from the most recent taxation year. 

  • If your taxes are up-to-date, include the last Notice of Assessment that you received with your application for NSIPP coverage.
  • If your taxes are not up-to-date, file your back taxes and then include the Notice of Assessment for the most recent taxation year with your application for NSIPP coverage.

I completed my first enrolment after July 1 of this year. Do I still need to renew my NSIPP coverage between October and December?

If you enrolled in NSIPP for the first time between July 1 and December 31 of this year, you will be covered until December 31 of next year (i.e., If you were enrolled on Jul 2, 2017, you will be covered until December 31, 2018).

If you enrolled in NSIPP for the first time between January 1 and June 30 of this year, you will only be covered until December 31 of this year and you must renew your coverage before December 31.

If you are enrolled in NSIPP this year, but it is not your first enrolment, you will only be covered until December 31 of this year and you must renew your coverage before December 31.

Your Enrolment Confirmation Letter will tell you when your NSIPP coverage expires

  • If your NSIPP coverage expires on December 31 of this year, you must renew your coverage between October 1 and December 31 of this year to ensure there is no disruption in your coverage for next year. We will send you a reminder letter in September
  • If you cannot find your Enrolment Confirmation Letter, contact the NSIPP Coordinator

If you have questions please contact: Courtney Fortune
NSIPP Coordinator
Nova Scotia Insulin Pump Program

Tel (902) 470-6707
5850/5980 University Avenue | PO Box 9700
Halifax, Nova Scotia | B3K 6R8

Who is eligible?

You may apply to the NSIPP if you

  • Are a permanent Nova Scotia resident;
  • Have a valid Nova Scotia Health Card (see below if new to the province);
  • Are 25 years old or younger at any point during the calendar year (January 1-December 31) for which you are applying

I am new to Nova Scotia. How do I register for a health card?

If you or your child have just moved to Nova Scotia, you must first apply for and receive a Nova Scotia Health Card before you can register with the NSIPP.

To register for a Health Card in Nova Scotia, you must call the MSI Registration and Enquiry Department at 902-496-7008 or 1-800-563-8880 (toll-free within Nova Scotia), to start the application process.  Blank applications are not available.

What does "medically eligible" mean?

Your Diabetes Health Care Team must be satisfied that you are a good candidate for an insulin pump before you can receive benefits through our program.  Once they are confident that you know how to maintain your health with a pump, they will sign a Medical Eligibility Form allowing you to enrol in the program.

To find out more about the medical eligibility criteria,click here.  If there are some things that you need to work on, or if you just want to understand more about an insulin pump, talk to your Diabetes Health Care Team.

How do I know if an insulin pump is right for me?

Talk to your Diabetes Health Care Team.  They can explain what a pump is and how it works.  They also have videos for families that discuss the benefits and challenges of pump therapy, safety and cost considerations, the role of the team, and the processes used to start insulin pump therapy in Nova Scotia.

How do I apply?

Applying for NSIPP coverage is a two-step process.

STEP 1A: Complete the application AND attach a copy of the most recent Notice of Assessment(s) for you and your spouse or partner.  Mail to the NSIPP Coordinator at PO Box 9700, Halifax, B3K 6R8.

  • If you have third party health insurance (through work, school, or privately purchased), contact your insurance company to determine how much coverage you have under that plan for an insulin pump and/or pump supplies.

STEP 1B: Once your application has been processed, you will receive a letter confirming the amount of your copayment.  With this letter will be a financial agreement form that you must review, sign, and return to the NSIPP Coordinator.

STEP 2: Once you have signed and returned the financial agreement, your NSIPP-approved Diabetes Centre will contact you to make an appointment.  Work with your Diabetes Health Care Team, including your diabetes specialist, at an NSIPP-approved Diabetes Centre (see list below) to complete the Medical Eligibility Assessment.  

If you currently do not attend one of the NSIPP-approved Diabetes Centres, your family physician can provide you with a referral to the Diabetes Centre and the associated diabetes specialist.

NSIPP-Approved Diabetes Centres

  • Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Diabetes Centre
  • IWK Health Centre, Pediatric Diabetes Clinic
  • QEII, Endocrinology Clinic
  • Strait Richmond Hospital, Diabetes Centre
  • Glace Bay Health Care Facility, Diabetes Centre
  • Northside General Hospital, Diabetes Centre
  • QEII, Diabetes Management Centre
  • Saint Martha’s Regional Hospital, Diabetes Centre
  • Valley Regional Hospital, Diabetes Centre

Note:  We expect additional NSIPP-approved Diabetes Centres across Nova Scotia in the future.

I currently do not attend a Diabetes Centre. Can my family physician sign the Medical Eligibility Form?

No.  NSIPP-approved Diabetes Centers are required to have an affiliated diabetes specialist (endocrinologist, internist, paediatrician) with expertise in pump therapy to support you and your Diabetes Centre team through the initiation process (including trouble shooting, back-up contact, dose adjustment in case of crisis management, etc.).  A diabetes specialist must also be involved in your annual NSIPP renewal process.  Your family physician can refer you to one of NSIPP-approved Diabetes Centres and an affiliated diabetes specialist; as well he/she will continue to provide you with ongoing care and support.

What happens after I apply?

Once you’ve applied to the program and the NSIPP Coordinator has received confirmation that you meet the medical eligibility criteria, your contact information will be sent to the pump company of your choice.  The pump company will contact you about your insulin pump and/or pump supplies.

How quickly can I expect to receive an insulin pump?

This will depend on the time it takes to prepare you for the pump—learning about the pump and how to use it safely.  You will need to work closely with your Diabetes Health Care Team to figure this out.

I bought insulin pump supplies after I applied to the program but before I was fully enrolled?

Your coverage begins on the date your application was received (i.e., the effective date for coverage)* by the NSIPP Coordinator.  However, before coverage begins, you must meet the medical eligibility criteria.  Please retain the original receipts for any insulin pump supplies that you buy after submitting your application.  You will be eligible for reimbursement once your Medical Eligibility Form is submitted and you are fully enrolled in NSIPP.

*      If you do not meet the eligibility criteria within 6 months of applying, the effective date for coverage will be reviewed and revised to the date of enrolment.

How often can I apply to the program for a new pump?

The program will help to pay for one insulin pump every five years as long as the age, medical, and financial eligibilities are still met.

My insurance covers part of the cost of my / my child’s insulin pump and supplies.  But I can’t afford to pay for the rest.  Can I still apply?

Yes.  First, contact your insurance company and find out how much coverage you have.  Then, submit an application form to the NSIPP coordinator.  We’ll calculate your eligibility based on your family income and family size.  The program may help with the costs your insurance doesn’t cover.

My insurance company says I have to apply to the program before they’ll consider funding an insulin pump or supplies. How does this work?

You can apply to the program whether you have private insurance coverage or not, and you should confirm your private insurance coverage before you apply.

We'll let you know what your copayment will be, and once you've agreed to that amount and met the eligibility criteria by working with your Diabetes Health Care Team, your selected pump company will contact you.  Let them know that you have private insurance, and they will help to coordinate benefits between your insurance company and our program.

The Nova Scotia Insulin Pump Program is the payer of last resort, which means your insurance company pays first and the province assists with coverage for any portion left unpaid by private insurance, as applicable.

How does having private insurance affect my copayment?

Your copayment remains the same whether you have private insurance or not.

Contact the NSIPP coordinator for specific information.

How do I coordinate between my insurance company and the program?

Once you have applied, completed your Medical Eligibility Assessment, and are formally enrolled into the NSIPP, your selected pump company will contact you.

You should have also confirmed your insurance coverage at this time.  With this information, the NSIPP coordinator and the pump company will then assist you.

Contact the NSIPP coordinator for specific information.

Can I choose which pump I think is right for me or my child?

Yes.  Your Diabetes Health Care Team will show you all the available pumps and help you choose the right one.

What kinds of “pump supplies” are covered?

Insertion sets, cartridges/reservoirs, tape, and skin preparation.

Can I buy my insulin pump supplies directly from the pharmacy?

No.  You must get your supplies through your selected pump company.  Pharmacies are not approved to bill the program, but the pump companies are.

Do you cover diabetes medications (insulin, oral medication) and testing supplies?

No.  The NSIPP does not cover insulin; oral medication; blood glucose meters, test strips, and lancets; ketone test strips (urine or blood); continuous glucose monitoring systems; batteries; or the cost of lost or stolen pumps or supplies.

Diabetes medications (insulin, oral medication) and testing supplies are expensive.  Is there a government program that can help me pay for it?

You can apply for funding for insulin, oral medication, blood glucose test strips and lancets, and urine ketone test strips under the Family Pharmacare program.

Is my copayment tax deductible?

Yes, you can claim your copayment as a medical expense on your tax return. For more information, please contact the Canada Revenue Agency.

How do I make my copayments?

You’ll make one copayment on your insulin pump.  If you have applied for funding for insulin pump supplies, you’ll make a copayment every three months.  You’ll make that copayment by credit card directly to your insulin pump company.  You may be able to work with your pump company to set up a payment plan.

My finances have changed, and I can no longer afford my copayment. What do I do now?

If your income has dropped by 20 per cent or more, please contact the NSIPP Coordinator and explain your situation.  We may be able to help.

Who do I count as a dependant child when I’m filling out the application?

Any children or legal wards of an adult under the age of 25, who you are financially supporting, can be considered dependants.  They must not be married or living in a common-law relationship.  For example, a 24-year-old who is studying full-time could be considered a dependant.  A 24-year-old, who is living at home but working full-time, however, wouldn’t be a dependant under the program.

Disabled adult children who you are financially supporting would also be counted as dependants.  They must not be married or living in a common-law relationship.

Please note that your spouse is not a dependant – whether or not he or she earns an income.

If you have any questions, please contact the NSIPP coordinator at 902-470-6707 or email nsipp@nshealth.ca.

According to the calculator, I don’t qualify for help from the program.  Should I bother applying?

Yes.  The NSIPP Coordinator will calculate your household income, and it’s possible that you might still qualify.  The program has also negotiated lower prices with four insulin pump manufacturers, so those who buy insulin pumps through the program may still save money.

I am First Nations.  Can I still apply?

Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed under “Who is eligible?”

However, the Nova Scotia Insulin Pump Program is the payer of last resort, which means any other plans for which you qualify pay first and the province assists with coverage for any portion left unpaid, as applicable.

I am living in a Long-term Care Facility.  Can I still apply?

Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed under “Who is eligible?”

However, the Nova Scotia Insulin Pump Program is the payer of last resort, which means any other plans for which you qualify pay first and the province assists with coverage for any portion left unpaid, as applicable.

English is my second language – are there resources to assist me with translation?

Contact the NSIPP coordinator for specific information about translation services.  Please note that you may be required to pay for these services.

Who do I call for more information?

You can call our program at 902-470-6707 (in Halifax); 1-855-306-6360 (toll-free) or email us at nsipp@nshealth.ca.

What does it mean when I enter my information into the co-pay pump calculator and the copayment amount is $0.00?

When the copayment calculates $0.00 it means you are eligible for full funding with NSIPP for the insulin pump and/or supplies. Meaning you and your family will not be required to pay any money toward the cost of your insulin pump and/or supplies.