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As a nurse educator, I'm not a medical provider, and I'm not able to write prescriptions for diabetes supplies. But I've witnessed the hassles that patients experience with diabetes products. You may need to continuously address these types of issues with Medicare or Medicaid, with multiple insurance plans who provide varying coverage, and with different types of pharmacies. It can be challenging.
Here are some examples of the challenges I've witnessed with diabetes supplies and prescriptions:
What have your prescription challenges been, and do you have any coping tips to share?
Have a great week,
Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E.
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Finally, someone who understands!!! I've experienced each of these problems. Thank you for the info re medical waiver. My doctor couldn't understand why I requested samples until my prescription was filled. It explained that when hé increases my dosage to match my reading, it depletes my supply. Drs only know what you tell them! Insurance and pharmacies are not their problems; that's on the patient. I'm 80, on my own, breast cancer survivor(2) -- sick of the drs not making an effort to coordinate prescriptions to insurance coverage.
I am controlling my type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise and am off medication. Without a medicine prescription Medicare will not approve test strips, so I pay full price. The VA is the same as Medicare.
The need for a prescription for diabetic supplies and medicine has got to be the most idiotic thing I have ever seen. Myself being a type 1 diabetic it is imperative that I have these supplies and medication to live. I believe this is one area where the Hippocratic Oath is being disabused. I think the diabetic community as a whole should form new governance in the treatment and guidelines for administering the correct aid to individuals with this disability.
I am a type one diabetic my new insurance company said my diabetic supplies are not covered by my prescription card but covered under my major medical coverage witch has a $1500 deductible making me pay for all of my supplies. Is this legal?
Jay, please note there is an RSS feed you could subscribe to on this page:
If you look in the lower left of this page you'll see RSS Feeds. Thanks again
Jay, thanks for your interest. You can't subscribe to the blog itself, but if you sign up for the free weekly newsletter Housecall on the left side of this page you will see every diabetes blog posting as they publish. Thanks.
How do I subscribe to this blog?
Cynthia, there are several oral diabetes medications that have side effects of gastro intestinal symptoms; gas, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. Take these medications with food. Usually with time, 1-2 weeks, the symptoms will get better, if not talk to your healthcare provider about an alternative medication for your diabetes.
I have been diagnosed pre-diabetic and meds given to me so far cause severe diarrhea...I have a public job and cannot risk uncontroleld diarrhea.
Get to know your pharmacist on a first name basis if local. I had some problems going from injections to a pump and my pharmacist saved me on many problems including insurance. I buy some of my supplies via the company that makes my pump, and others at local pharmacy. My Pharmacist knows me and my struggles with insurance at times and always helps me if she can...
My doctor recommended a Diabetic Clinic when my diabetic situation was discovered. At the clinic a nurse provided me the materials for checking my blood sugar and instructed me how to use them, put a paper to sign in front of me (which I signed) and gave me the schedule for 9 hours of instruction. She checked my blood sugar - 460. I was on metformia at the time.
In my confused condition, I had signed with an out-town company to supply my diabetic materials. So the meter, etc. given me was not free. The next day I received a call from the company about sending my supplies, found they did not take my insurance, and I could not understand the speaker.
Before these out-of-town supplies could arrive I was hospitalized -6 days of hospitalization and 14 days in a medical center.
My message - take someone with you when you go to a health facility who can understand what is happening when you are not functioning very well. I got off to a very bad start in addressing my illness.
Another way to keep diabetes costs down: enroll in a Flex Spending Account at your workplace. This allows you to use pre-tax income to pay for supplies, prescriptions co-pays, glasses, deductibles etc. It can most of us about 20% on these things that insurance may not cover. Check with your HR office.
My husband and I both have Type 1 diabetes, and we both use insulin pumps. We are very intentional about getting insurance through jobs. One of us has to obtain coverage through our job. Starbucks and UPS have good insurance for diabetes.
We use meters/test strips that are preferred by our insurance company. We use local pharmacies that our insurance preferres. And we use mail order pharmacies our insurance preferres if necessary.
We also ask about preferred medical providers. This makes medical visits less expensive. I ask about our general practitioner, our endocrinologist, and my OB-GYN. We ask the same thing if the insurance covers vision and dental too. Sometimes paying extra to see a good specialist is worth it though.
It has happened more than once that our endocrinologist is not covered. We just bring the list of preferred providers from our insurance, and ask the specialist we like to make a recommenation/referral from the insurance list.
We ask our endocrinologist to write insulin scripts at the highest level of insulin each of us has used in the past 6mo. to a year. This takes a lot of stress off if one of us gets sick.
I only speak to customer service reps from insurance with these kinds of questions. On-line or automated systems rarely have up-to-date info. And there are answers to all these questions. :) It can be frustrating so I make sure I have time for a long conversation.
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