A Whole New World


I feel like I’m navigating the diabetes waters all over again, from scratch, lately.

I got a new full-time job, with new insurance, and new insurance requirements.

First and foremost: insulin. I have used Novolog for many years now. My new insurance prefers I use Humalog. I could still get Novolog…but I can’t really afford the price difference, so I had to switch. I haven’t started using the Humalog yet, as I have a little ‘stockpile’ of Novolog and my CDE recommends I use all of that up first so that if my ratios, etc. change with Humalog I won’t have to change everything back when I do eventually use up the last of my Novolog.  We’ll see how the switch to Humalog goes, whenever it happens. I think I still have about 4 months of Novolog in my fridge…

Secondly: my endocrinologist. I love him. And he’s moving to Cincinnati. So…I am going to have to start seeing someone new. The good news is that he’s hand-picked someone for me that he says is very comfortable with insulin pumps and CGMs, works with my CDE, and has expertise in working with pregnant women with diabetes (this way, if kids are in my future, I will already be seeing an endo with a lot of experience in handling diabetes and pregnancy).

Third: DME. My insurance wants me to use their ‘in house’ DME service, but their service hours suck, to the point where I’m just going to go ‘out of network’ and continue to use Tandem and Byram for supplies….but pay 2x as much. Convenience is a huge huge huge huge thing for me, and having no one available outside of my working hours to take an order, my insurance info, my prescriptions, my payment information, my shipping and billing information, my doctor’s information, etc. is almost impossible for me to handle. I live in the 21st century. I expect companies to have either evening service hours and/or an online reorder system. When they have neither, I kind of don’t want to do business with them. I mean…really?

Fourth: my pharmacy. I absolutely hate Walgreens and about 2 years ago I moved my prescriptions to Target…and I fell in love with their pharmacies. They have a smaller staff who have gotten to know me by name, know I use an insulin pump, are fast and efficient, etc. They always have my insulin in stock (Walgreens ALWAYS made me wait 24-48 hours because they did not have enough insulin on hand to fill my prescription). I could refill prescriptions via text message and I often received response texts within 10 minutes stating that my prescriptions were filled and ready for pick-up. My current insurance, again, wants me to use their ‘in house’ pharmacies. I don’t want to, but I’ve had to make the switch as pricing for an ‘out of network pharmacy’ like that at Target would double my copays on all prescriptions. I was not overly impressed with my first visit to my new pharmacy, but we’ll see how it goes.

I guess I am just frustrated: I had been in a place where I had a doctor I loved, an insulin that worked very well for me, DME providers I trusted and had no problems with (EVER) who were in-network and cost-effective, and a pharmacy/pharmacists who made things as simple and fast as possible for me. And now…all changed or gone.

Diabetes is hard enough – we as patients do not need tyrannical insurance companies/monopolistic health care systems to tell us what to do….

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