Test Strips No Longer Covered….and a note about my blog

I’ve hit a strange impasse with my insurance company (Anthem BCBS). They no longer cover ANY test strips except OneTouch brand strips. All other strips cannot be charged to my insurance. OneTouch strips can be, and I pay a $55 copay for them.

What makes me shake my head in wonder at the stupidity of the insurance company is that by asking me to switch back to OneTouch….they are asking if they can pay more every month for my strips. Like….$100 more per month. Yep…despite having a copay I’d have to pay for OneTouch, the insurance company would also be losing $1200 per year by asking me to switch test strip brands. Yet….they stupidly are doing so.

Anthem BCBS: No wonder you have to raise premiums.  You are costing yourselves MORE money by insisting that every diabetic on your policies use the most expensive test strip brand in the world. Yes, OneTouch makes awesome meters. Yes, they are popular. But…you can’t deny that their strips cost more than any others, anywhere….

I had switched to a ‘generic/store brand’ meter to lower costs, both for me and my insurance company.  That’s no longer ‘allowed’. I’m just so baffled by this choice.

Anyway, I’m not willing to pay $55 a month for strips, when just last year I was paying $0 a month for strips.  I will be switching from the Agamatrix premium meter (made for Target stores) and buying a Relion Prime meter at Walmart….I can buy my 250 strips a month without involving insurance at a cash/retail price of $45…..$10 less than my copay on my insurance’s ‘preferred brand’.

Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture?


And a note about my blog: I am more than happy to receive emails from those with questions or who want to talk about something I’ve mentioned in my blog. However, if you are asking me to include links in my blog that have NOTHING to do with me or my blog or my reasons for doing anything I do (wearing a pump, using a CGM, etc)….I won’t respond. Mostly because it’s obvious you haven’t actually READ my blog. Please don’t ask me to include links that have no relation whatsoever to anything I’ve ever written. Please don’t ask me to include ‘official’ links for products that are only the official links if I live in the country you are marketing from. I live in the USA. I will link only USA website version links, unless one doesn’t exist and then I will link the page I deem most appropriate to an American audience (I realize my blog is read by people around the world….but 95% of the people who read this blog ARE from the USA…and I often talk about products that I use that are only available in the USA or a few select other countries…).


5 thoughts on “Test Strips No Longer Covered….and a note about my blog

  1. Fun story: I have BCBS, but I die a little inside when I go to get my prescriptions. I have a $1,000 deductible to meet (I know, it’s ridiculous) before any of them are covered, meaning I pay full price for everything I need to survive. This is the fun part:

    1 vial of Novolog = $170 (and will last me 1 month, typically)
    200 Contour test strips = $200 (and will last me about 2 months)
    t:slim supplies = $470 (3 month supply)
    And I don’t know how much Dexcom supplies are since I haven’t had to buy any before my deductible’s been met.

    And this is what makes it even MORE fun (I hope you’re picking up on my heavy sarcasm here): in order for me to “prove” that I am meeting my deductible through my prescriptions, I have to fill out a claims form, have my pharmacy print an official list of all my scripts, put them in a big envelope, pay $2 more to have it snail-mailed to their office, then wait 2-3 more weeks to have it show up in their computer system.

    Oh, and even after I have met my $1,000 deductible, I STILL pay full price for my prescriptions (except pump/Dexcom…not sure why that is). I will receive a check in the mail once they receive my claim form/list of scripts (again, 2-3 weeks AFTER I’ve paid for them).

    To sum this up, insurance really tries to see how far they can push you before you break. And many times, they don’t care when you do break. They just want your money.

  2. I know this is a while back, and you are on a CGM now, but talking about switching to Relion prompted me to comment, since that’s what I’ve been using at least the past 2 yrs, if not longer. With that in mind..

    How long did you use the Relion before switching to the CGM? After using it for 2-ish yrs, I think I’ve earned the right to say it’s a horrible meter. Now, I used the Prime. I have wasted at least 100 strips since the start of this year (thankfully, on a diff meter now) due to “errors”. I would get an error 8 times in a row, and then randomly would finally get a reading. It’s really hard to trust your meter when that happens, ya know? Insurance is extremely frustrating, especially when it comes to meters and test strips.

    I use a Freestyle Lite now, and my Rx is for 8 checks a day. They are willing to pay for 8 checks a day, which results in needing a 100-pk every 10 days. With my hypo unawareness, there are many times that I test more than 8x a day, so with my first Rx I ran out and bought a bottle of Prime strips as backup. I am actually calling tomorrow to get the Rx changed to 10x/day (hopefully).

    But you mean to tell me that they are more than willing to do THIS, yet they refuse to cover a CGM?!?! Seriously?! It is so obvious that the people running these insurance companies do not have diabetes (specifically T1) and have no understanding of it whatsoever. I think it’s silly you still have to do 3-4 checks everyday with the CGM, but that’s half of what I’m doing now (at the very least). The only thing I think that I am grateful for is that with the meter, it will tell me what my sugar is when it’s extremely low. There is a gigantic difference between 23 and 33 (at least for me).

    Point being…insurance companies have no brain!

    • I never made the switch to Relion, at least not yet. I won a TrueResult meter and 1200 strips and it’s been a good meter. I also was given about 1000 strips and a Bayer Contour Next meter from a friend who was switching to a different meter brand and didn’t even want to use up the strips she already had. Since I’m testing only a few times a day, I haven’t made it all the way through those strips yet and haven’t had to buy a Relion meter yet.

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