Diabetes Supply Costs Rule My Life!

Diabetes supply costs can be brutal.

| Nov 26, 2011

There's nothing quite like wondering how you're going to pay for prescriptions.  I find it odd that we usually don't know what our out-of-pocket cost will be until we're standing in front of the pharmacy staff and praying that we have enough in our wallet to cover it.  I often feel like a reality show contestant waiting for the grand total.  My pharmacy-based reality show would probably be called "The Biggest Payer," or perhaps "The Amazing Guess," or, aptly, "Survivor."  If you've ever walked away from the pharmacy counter embarrassed, panicked, or depressed, you know the feeling I'm referring to.  It's a pain no prescription can cure.

Some time ago my insurance changed, and I had to say no to quite a few boxes of test strips.  I was picking up supplies for three months and discovered unexpectedly that test strips, which used to cost me nothing, suddenly cost 300 dollars.  When you add that extra expense to the cost of multiple vials of insulin, syringes, lancets, and nondiabetes medications, the total can be next to impossible.  I didn't have enough money to cover it all and had to walk away feeling awful, without many of my boxes of test strips. A couple of weeks later, I returned to the same pharmacy and saw several boxes of test strips on the shelf that had my information blacked out on them, ready for sale to the next customer.

Diabetes supply costs sometimes seem to rule my life.  Take those test strips, for example. We cannot be without them, but they are so ridiculously expensive that should one fall between the car seats, it can make even the toughest person want to sob.  I often wonder why diabetes prescriptions are so expensive, when I can pick up one of my husband's nondiabetes prescriptions for, literally, 37 cents.  On several occasions, I've been able to pay for my husband's and sons' prescriptions out of my coin purse.  But as a person with diabetes, even with excellent insurance, I rarely find myself leaving the pharmacy counter having spent less than a couple hundred dollars.

In these difficult economic times, more people are being forced to live without the items they need to manage their diabetes properly.  Going without my insulin and test strips is not an option, but there are a few alternatives that I've filed away as possibilities in case of even tougher times.  I discovered that some of the larger retailers, like Walmart and Target, offer a store brand blood glucose meter. The test strips for some of these meters are only about a third of the price of name brand strips.  Recently, a friend with diabetes asked a group of us if anyone had stopped using their "fancy" insulin and gone back to the old insulin vials due to cost or loss of insurance.  While there is no generic form of insulin, I found R and NPH insulin to be lower in price than Humalog and Levemir, for example.  

While I have been lucky enough not to have to make those changes (yet), they're important to know about in case things get worse.  It seems, however, both disturbing and offensive that people with diabetes should be forced to risk sacrificing their health in order to save money.

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Categories: Blood Glucose Meter, Diabetes, Diabetes, Health, Humalog, Insulin, Insurance, Lancets, Levemir, Nondiabetes Medications, NPH Insulin, Out-of-Pocket Cost, Pharmacy, Prescriptions, R Insulin, Syringes, Target, Test Strips, Walmart, \\ Diabetes

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Posted by Anonymous on 26 November 2011

Cripes - I cant bear to think how hard it must be. I get everything free in Ireland under the Long Term Illness Scheme and I know how scared I feel when I've not managed to stock up on time. Diabetes is difficult enough to manage without the financial woes too. Can you challenge the change in your insurance policy?

Posted by Anonymous on 26 November 2011

Welcome to US healthcare. Move to Europe and you will have much better care support, despite what some in the US claim.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 November 2011

I agree and can empathize. I'm in the middle of switching jobs. My new job doesn't offer health insurance, but it was too good an offer to refuse despite that issue. I know, seems impossible to believe. But I don't feel that we should have to base our entire lives around how we're going to carry insurance. Well, turns out my current insurance provider that I have through group insurance through my current employer is flat-out DENYING me individual coverage. State insurance is REQUIRING that I go SIX MONTHS without insurance before they will cover me under their pre-existing coverage which will cost me $350 per month, plus co-pays and deductibles. I tried pre-existing insurance companies and they are offering me insurance right away... at $850 per month, plus co-pays and deductibles. So... it's either I give up this enormous job opportunity so I can keep my current health insurance, OR I scrimp and scrounge for six whole months, praying I can make it through until the state insurance will pick me up. Without health insurance, my monthly prescriptions would cost $1300 or more. The whole situation is impossible. My options are so few as it is. I can't switch to older insulins (am on Apidra and Levemir) because I've gained immunities and resistance to them. How is it that someone would seek to gain on our survival? They are collecting so much of our hard earned money because they know that we CANNOT LIVE without it.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 November 2011

This 'opportunity costs' for diabetes supplies will only get worse. The insulins, needles and test strips keep getting more and more expensive also requireing more frequent usage. Insulin pump supplies are a joke with no competition from 3rd party suppliers. And, groups like the JDRF are seemingly silent or indifferent on the costs of supplies. For example, they are railroading the artificial pancreas through touting it as a breakthrough (I disagree) and yet the costs are what? Diabetes care is a windfall $ billion dollar industry that continues grow. At some point soon for me even insulin will be an optional purchase. I no longer use test strips.

Posted by lanieanne on 29 November 2011

I live in Canada and do not have private insurance. It is costing me, with the meds, insulin and testing supplies about $500 a month.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

I am a 69 year old non-insulin dependent Type 2 diabetic and my prescription coverage tells me that I have to use generic drugs or pay the difference between the Brand name and the generic + a 30% co-pay...well, I use the generic drug which better controls my blood sugar but, the generic only cost $2.87 less than the Brand name!!!! Something wrong with this picture????? Yes, folks this is the US Healthcare system....welcome to it!

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

This is all so true, I have good insurance but I still pay a lot of money to keep myself relatively healthy. I pay 20% while my plan picks up 80%, but 20% of a lot of money is still a lot of money. I love when people say "but you have good insurance, why are you always so broke?". This is why I am for a national health care plan as proposed by President Obama. When I lived in Ireland everything was covered by the government state plan. Socialized medicine works quite well, I did not mind paying taxes because I was getting quality health care and anything I needed for my disease. Something needs to be done for people with chronic illnesses and the costs that come along with it.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

A simple fact of life: Modern health care (and I use the term loosely) at least in America, is NOT about healing sick people, but about MAINTAINING them not unlike a herd of cattle in order to squeeze as much money as possible before they die, for the benefit of Big Pharma, hospitals and physicians. There's little difference between a credit card company sucking out 30% interest out of you with no regard of how you'll live, and a health "care" establishment doing exactly the same thing. At least you can throw away your credit cards, but not your illness. That's actually the whole point: Since your life literally depends on it, you have no choice but pay. And once you can't anymore you die and some other unfortunate stiff will take your place: One way or the other the medical "establishment" will get their billions. Besides, I'm old enough to see how stupid the physicians got over the years anyway: In many cases I clearly know more about the disease than the doctor I talk to, and just the other day one told me flat "Let's forget about nutrition and talk about medications. You can eat what you want as long as we find proper pill coctail to cover it." In my view it's criminal.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

This just seems so wrong. My heart goes out to you. As a Type 1 diabetic here in London, England, all my insulins, test strips, hospital blood tests and hospital care and operations are free. I thought American insurance did cover diabetics' needs. Your article is a sobering eye-opener.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

I feel your pain. I have been ordering my type 2 meds from a Canadian Pharmacy because it's 1/3 cheaper that way. Its sad that the US healthcare system is the way it is.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

Amen to everything this author says! I was diagnosed with type 1 in 1970 and for at least 15 of those years, I went without any insurance at all. I could not get it to cover my "pre-existing" condition. So I guess you could say things are improving, but at what a snail's pace! I am finally on Medicare (how did I stay alive so long? I don't know!) but I must pay for an over $200 a month MediGap supplemental policy because the 20% still owing after Medicare pays their 80% is more than the $200+ premium! I use an insulin pump. The pumps go out of warranty after 4 years, but Medicare won't replace one of them except every 5 or more years. The cost of supplies is beyond ridiculous because, as was noted in a previous letter, there is no competition in manufacturing those supplies. I wonder why the American public is so unable to make needed changes in our social policies and what it will take to get something done about such gross unfairness!

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

I am in the same boat as many others. My three diabetes medications are more expensive than all of the other medications both my husband and I use COMBINED! I am actually planning on stopping one and seeing how I do without it. It is truly a sad comment on the US (lack of) healthcare system. And, BTW, my Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage costs an astronomical $1400.00+ PER MONTH. I sometimes wonder, for what?

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

I am so VERY lucky -- my husband works for a hospital system, and our insurance under that company's health plan covers pretty much everything, with low co-pays on doctor visits ($10 or $20 depending if it's our PCP or a "specialist" [which is anyone other than primary]) and prescriptions (some as low as $4, on up). I have, at this time, no problems getting my diabetes supplies and 'scripts. I do live in dread of what would happen if my husband lost his job, or something else catastrophic happened.

The writer mentions store-brand glucose meters -- we've tried a couple of those (diabetes runs in my husband's family, so he checks his BG every so often, too), and have found them to be wildly inaccurate when compared to my crappy Abbott Freestyle Freedom Lite (the meter my insurance covers -- they used to cover AccuCheck, but changed suppliers a couple years ago). The one we've tried most recently is Target's Up & Up meter, and it can read as much as 40 points higher than the Freestyle Freedom Lite. A difference like that can be really bad. I guess it's better than not having any idea at all, but I wonder if the old strips that used urine or showed a different "color" from the blood drop would actually be better than the store brand meters and strips.

It's so wrong that diabetics should have to be at the mercy of some of the drug companies that make our necessary supplies and meds.

Posted by Christina Archer on 29 November 2011

It costs, period. I live in Canada, pay for my own supplies and feel quite fortunate that I can afford it. I've been a type 1 diabetic for forty three years, now. When is all this going to end?

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

I am a lucky American. I live in Europe and all of my diabetes expenses are covered with my national health insurance. I do pay for this insurance but after 45 years of diabetes, no more American health insurance worries. The care is as good or better than I received in the US.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

I am so VERY lucky -- my husband works for a hospital system, and our insurance under that company's health plan covers pretty much everything, with low co-pays on doctor visits ($10 or $20 depending if it's our PCP or a "specialist" [which is anyone other than primary]) and prescriptions (some as low as $4, on up). I have, at this time, no problems getting my diabetes supplies and 'scripts. I do live in dread of what would happen if my husband lost his job, or something else catastrophic happened.

The writer mentions store-brand glucose meters -- we've tried a couple of those (diabetes runs in my husband's family, so he checks his BG every so often, too), and have found them to be wildly inaccurate when compared to my crappy Abbott Freestyle Freedom Lite (the meter my insurance covers -- they used to cover AccuCheck, but changed suppliers a couple years ago). The one we've tried most recently is Target's Up & Up meter, and it can read as much as 40 points higher than the Freestyle Freedom Lite. A difference like that can be really bad. I guess it's better than not having any idea at all, but I wonder if the old strips that used urine or showed a different "color" from the blood drop would actually be better than the store brand meters and strips.

It's so wrong that diabetics should have to be at the mercy of some of the drug companies that make our necessary supplies and meds.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

Speaking from a U.S. perspective--with Type I, diagnosed in Japan 16 years ago--the venal obscenity of our system is frankly inhumane by comparison to those of other nations.
And it is, naturally, getting worse as government regulations are relaxed and corporate greed is rewarded rather than punished.
While the One Percent prosper, the life of the rest of us becomes, as Hobbes put it, ever more solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

Posted by Barry on 29 November 2011

We are supposed to be the most advanced country on the planet, but in healthcare, we are lagging behind the rest. We spend billions on wars, but can't spend it on healthcare. As long as the lobbyists for the insurance companies keep our representatives in Washington fat and happy, there will never be real healthcare reform. The costs are out of control for prescription drugs. It gives the drug companies plenty of money to give out in thier favor.
I have had type one Diabetes for 47 years now. The costs are insane for what I need to maintain decent health. I've had to pick and choose which drugs I can afford to take and let some slide. Luckily my wife has a decent Ins. policy now, so I can keep my Insulin pump. It's been the biggest improvement in my life. But, she pays alot for that policy. There are some things I need but go without because of the out of pocket expense. It's time that things change. I'm not a Socialist, but we need to enact some form of Socialized medicine here to help.

Posted by monikahilleary on 29 November 2011

My husband and I live part time in New Zealand. We can not afford health insurance in the US. We have fantastic public healthcare in NZ which is paid for from sales tax and is only slightly higher than most areas in the US. (And by the way, you CAN still buy your own private insurance if you want, and at a very reasonable cost) Prescriptions there, for a three month supply, cost us $3. Us citizens are being so scammed by the pharmaceuticals in this country, but guess what, who do you think is backing the politicians?????? The hospitals, doctors and pharmas here will never be willing to give up all the money they make off of everyone's diseases. When we travel back to the US we buy travel insurance form NZ. If we where to become ill and capable of being moved they would fly us back to NZ. Their quote is this " It would be cheaper for them to contract a jumbo jet with only me the only passenger and fly me back to NZ, than to pay for US healthcare!!!!!!!!!!!! Unlike what we have been brain washed to believe, this is not the greatest country in the world!

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

It is not fair --- and something needs to be done. I don't know what, but it seems to me there is strength in numbers and AARP may be a good place to focus the needs of diabetics and get some action.
Meanwhile, we need to help one another, any way we can. How about having a central clearing house for diabetics who NEED more testing strips and diabetics who have sufficient strips and can manage to test a little bit less? I for one could give up a couple of strips a day ---and in 30 days I could save up 60 strips, say one box of Ascencia Contour. It would be somewht inconvenient, but not earth shattering. As it stands now, I prolong the use of my Novolog and Levemir WAAAAY beyond the 30 day limit per vial. How do I know I can do it? When I first became diabetic (Diabetes 1) they failed to tell me about the of one vial --- so I kept using it for over two months --- with good results. Now each vial goes for 6 weeks --- no problem. And I have insulin left over - and am tempted to go the 2 months again. Why not? If my glucose goes too high, I will know it is time to start a new bottle....
And how about the syringes? Can they be boiled for 20 minutes, and re-used? For that matter --- could you just rinse a syringe and put it in alcohol? Or simply re-use it, although I have some reservations about contaminating the insulin.How about purchasing an old fashioned syringe that is meant to be re-used? The kind my diabetic mother used in the ?
As for lancets --- good grief, I haven't bought a lancet in the 4 years I have been a diabetic --- still drawing on the original packet. I use one lancet over and over, weeks on end. It is as sharp as ever ---the finger pricks feel equally unpleasant with old/new lancets. Why bother to replace? And I do not use alcohlic wipes -- clean hands is good enough.
I hope this helps.
I have also heard of a man who questions the of medications, claiming they are potent much longer than the manufacturers claim. I tend to believe that... and can probably finds out more on the internet.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

i totally sympathize! i'm a type 1 diabetic diagnosed at about age 50. i have no insurance until i reach medicare in over 3 years, so i pay for everything out of pocket. it's too bad that there is no discount from the pharmacies, like there is from the doctor when you pay at time of service-between 20-45%. it sure would make a huge difference for people! & drug companies are quick to point out that most of the cost goes to pay for r&d. are we to believe that? there really should be a grass roots movement to protest this!

Posted by Lucia on 29 November 2011

I had to join this discussion! I live in Arizona, and since I'm self-employed, I am "lucky" to have insurance through the only plan that will accept people with pre-existing conditions in the state! It now costs me over $800 per month, with a $3,000 deductible, which means I pay for all insulin, strips, doctor visits, etc out of pocket, yet I have insurance! This is absurd.
I use the Walmart brand meter and strips, because they are about 1/3 the cost of the rest, and fortunately they work quite well. I'm lucky that I use very little insulin (and was grateful that a friend gave me some of his excess of Novolog!), but no one should have to make choices about how much insulin to take or how many times a day to test based on the cost!
I agree that we need a national single-payer health care plan, so that everyone can have the health coverage we need, and the insurance companies won't be profiting at the expense of our health.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2011

I supposedly have some of the best insurance in the nation and I spend $100 a month just for my diabetes supplies. That's not counting my other med which are another $100. When I lived in England that was all free. I could just keep up with my health screenings and maintain my diabetes by the book because it was free. "They" are laying off a LOT of Federal employees, so I may have to change jobs. I am terrified at this prospect as it will probably be a pay cut and an expense increase!

Posted by grandmasylvia on 30 November 2011

I am 66 and on Medicare. My insulin is $1,700 every three months..I use the mail order so I pay for two months and get a month free. Medicare gives you the test strips and lancets for free but the expensive things..the insulin and needles you have to pay for. Medicare only pays a limited amount on drugs..then you pay for all of it until you meet the $7,000 out of pocket cost..then they start paying again. With my 20 RXs I meet the Medicare limit in one month. After my husband and myself pay $7,000 each..which is $14,000..Medicare will pay most of the cost. We are enrolled in a Medicare replacement policy with my former employer..so my coverage is different. These policies may be eliminated soon. I pay $500.00 a month for this coverage in addition to the regular Medicare cost. We have $500.00 in deductibles to pay for each of us in January. The great shame of this is that their is no generic insulin available in the USA...the FDR has not allowed one to be used. The drug companies make over three billion dollars on insulin a year...so they lobby hard to keep generic insulin out. Other companies have generic insulin. I don't know why this has been allowed to go on for so long. My grandmother used insulin. Most drugs go generic within 6 years but not insulin! We had 50,000 amputations last year in the US mostly due to people not affording insulin. Please complain to your officials about this..I wrote to the FDA, my congressman and senators.

Posted by Anonymous on 30 November 2011

This is one example why the United States needs a one-tier universal healthcare system. My son is a Type 1 diabetic and 23 years old. He studied abroad in Japan and got better, more efficient and extremely less costly care! He is studying in Australia and hopes to live there because of their better healthcare system. It is time our country moves into the 21st century with a more humane, just, fair, pragmatic and cost-saving healthcare system not just for the individual but the nation as a whole.

Posted by Anonymous on 30 November 2011

It is expensive to pay for diabetes care, however, there are a few ways to cut costs for care. For example, if you do a little researching there are some glucose meters whose test strips are less expensive, buy your own cotton balls and bottle of alcohol instead of using packaged "alcohol preps", engage in daily exercise/activity for improved glucose control so that you don't have to resort to increase in meds or insulin(which would be more costly).

Posted by Anonymous on 30 November 2011

I buy test strips from sellers on Amazon.com, and I pay approximately 1/2 what I paid at the pharmacy and/or Wal-Mart. I always check the expiration date when my strips arrive, most times the date is at least 12 months into the future. I've never had any problem with these at all. If you're having to pay out-of-pocket for strips, Amazon.com is the way to go.

Posted by jlnhjm on 30 November 2011

To the 66 year old who is on Medicare with a Medigap policy: Try to find a Medicare Advantage program; mine pays for all my diabetic meds and supplies. However, tho I have a zero co-pay, it does get added to my 3000 "allowance". To by-pass at least some of this, I get everything I can once I am in the donut hole and hope it brings me to the next donut hole.

I am on a one payer system, I have Medicare. In order to extend it to the rest of the country, it would have to be mandatory, as it is for those on disability or 65 years of age. I don't know if that is constitutional; but what difference if it is paid by a special sales tax, for instance, and a payroll deduction?

You can extend your supplies: Forget about the so called 30 days and into the garbage rule on insulin. I have used vials for up to three months before they are used up. Never throw out insulin again! Same for pen needles and pen cartridges. It is possible to refill the cart if the pen is not a throw-away. I fill the syringe from the vial and shoot that insulin into the cart. Therefore I have the best of both ways, lower cost with a vial and convenience with a pen. As for lancets, I am still using the supply I got almost 20 years ago. Every once in a while, I get a sample pack of 5 lancets, probably a year's supply.

As to strips, it is important to test; however, I have found I can eliminate one test a day without a problem. Additionally, I have purchased strips from e-bay, some close dated and some not. They also last and work well past their expiration date, and cost about 25% of the pharmacy price.

We were without insurance for about four years and I prayed I would last until Medicare. At that time Glucophage was brand only, and when my endo ran out of samples, I ordered it from an island off the coast of England, in generic form. And that reminds me of another way to cut cost: get as many samples as you can from the doctors; even if they are brand name, they are free and may carry you thru until they are available in a generic form.

Oh, dear, just thought of something else: you can get good control with R and NPH. The R is fairly easy; unfortunately NPH is not. Perhaps a mix of the R and something like Lantus or Levemir? My endo gave me samples of Levemir until I hit 65 and no longer needed them.

I have written a book, hope this information helps someone.


Posted by Anonymous on 30 November 2011

Like so many of you, I am ashmaed of America's healthcare system. It is absolutely an example of bureaucracy at its finest! Those who legislate for us should be doing a better job. I work fulltime but feel lousy because I cannot afford the medications I need. However, for your information, those who use Apidra can have a break for the next 5 months. Because of a shortage of the Apidra pens, they are making Apidra insulin available until April of 2012. Take advantage of this free medication--it is a lot like Novolog.

My husband and I have to pay a LOT of money for our medications, but the prices just keep going up. I had to discontinue use of a continuous glucose monitor because of the cost. I am grateful to be alive but I wish this disease would give us all a break sometimes. I know that those who pay for medications to help with cancer pay even more than those of us who have diabetes. I have had this disease for 40 years (type 1) and there isn't one good thing I can say about it or the cost of keeping all of us alive.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 December 2011

Full disclosure: I work as a brand manager for the ReliOn brand. I'm not trying to push our products, just make folks aware that shopping at Walmart for diabetes supplies offers a potential way to save a significant amount of money.

The cost of diabetes products is a real burden for all people with diabetes, especially as co-pays and the amount people have to spend out of pocket continues to rise. For those who don't have insurance or are paying a lot of costs out of pocket, Walmart offers products at a significant savings to national brand through their ReliOn brand. For example, our syringes cost $12.58 per box of 100 and that's been the price since we launched in 1999. Might be worth taking a look.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 December 2011

My brother was diagnosed yesterday. Both of our parents (He's twelve) work in hospitals. How will that effect cost?

Posted by Anonymous on 2 December 2011

Healthcare systems are built around maintenance. Just like big pharma. There is no value in curing ANY illness when you can 'treat' the symptoms for $billions annually. I know a gov't sponsored healthcare system like the one in Ireland and other countries can work but the one that Obama put forward doesn't curb lawsuits like the ones in other countries. Without that control in place, the plan will fail. I have been a type 1 for over 30 years and all I have seen happen is ever changing insulin analogs with the costs quadrupling, insulin pumps have no competition for their accessories/supplies since they are proprietary. Test strips keep going up! Why?

I hate to be the messenger of doom and gloom but it will never end because type 1 diabetes won't be cured in this century. It's an ancient disease and until they can actually identify all the root causes, they are throwing darts.

The JDRF has spent 40 years and have no cure to show for it. We still inject insulin sub-q after 80 years and nothing better to show for it. We had the inhaler but supposedly the 'market' saw to its demise.

There's a lot of chatter about the test strips and I know there is the CGMS that is supposed to be a 'breakthrough' but last I read on it you still need to test your blood the oldfashioned way because the CGMS is inaccurate. But, the JDRF is railroading their artificial pancreas through promising it to be the 'holy grail'. I've worn a pump for over 14 years and hate it. The moment there is a smartinsulin to market my insulin pump will make its way to the garbage can as I have no plan to burry myself financially to go on the artificial disaster.

Posted by Anonymous on 2 December 2011

hint about test strips - make sure you are using the meter that your insurance covers as "preferred" on you plan. That way your avg co pay each month will be $0-$25. If not preferred on you insurance plan co pay each month will be $40-$60! Also Roche, makers of ACCU-CHEK has a $15 co pay card to help assure your co pay will not be more $15 for each month.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 December 2011

I am type2 in the US and just beginning to enjoy the costs of diabetes. My ins. will run out soon. But folks heres the thing. All those of you living in socialized meedicine countries and getting all that govt. paid for medicine have bankrupted you countries. And I fear for you a lot of this is going to stop very soon. Your medical needs may not be as important as a paper-pushing govt. job for someone or a new-fangled military widgit.

Posted by Anonymous on 17 December 2011

Stop griping and start shopping! I've had diabetes for 45 yrs (I'm 52) and my costs continue to go down because I insist on Free market economics. Wal-Mart has done more than any Government Program (including those European ones) or politicians by bringing competition to healthcare products. Pills for 7 cents...test strips 38 cents...can't be beat! Their house insulin is cheap too, although I must import HUMALOG from Turkey ($32 per bottle! Its the same stuff people!)I always insist that all service providers (DR's) disclose price before service is rendered and I negotiate a cash discount. I get my blood tests from ANYLABTEST.com or healthcheckUSA.com for 30% of where the Dr will send you. Stop doing as you're told and take control! Start your own CPP (Cash Payment Plan) and tell the insurance Cos to take a hike! Cash guarantees access to healthcare, Insurance only guarantees a monthly bill. 

Posted by Anonymous on 15 January 2012

I have type 1 diabetes, I had a COBRA plan that was amazing, with an employer I hated, now its run out. I have a job I really enjoy, but its a small company that can't afford a group plan.

I've tried over and over and over to get private medical insurance. I'm willing to pay a hefty monthly premium for good coverage. Everytime I call a company, they happily and with a smile in their voice inform me that I'm uninsurable.

WTF? So to me, if insurance companies only want to cover healthy people why the hell is health insurance so expensive? And whats the point if you are only going to cover the healthy and non sick. This is how insurance companies are making record profits. They cover the healthy and underwrite those with chronic conditions. I'm SO looking forward to 2014 when Obama's plan kicks into place.

I love America, but it stinks to live in a country where you have to be scared to get sick, not scared of what the illness will do to you, but scared that you'll lose everything because of an illness.

All our system leads to is the stifling of innovation. Someone with diabetes may have a great future leading a company, or starting a business, or inventing a new product. But they can't ever leave a job they hate because they are afraid to lose coverage, and they know that they can never get REASONABLE coverage in the private insurance market. Its sickening.

And disgusting to me to see how insurance companies playing their sick games until the second they are FORCED not to. Anyone who whines about how the private market would take care of the health insurance issue is an unutterable fool - they are normally a fool who has never had a health problem in their life.

Lucky for me I'm also in school - so I'm able to get a group plan that way. But Kaiser it would appear does not cover SymlinPen 120 - which I take to help control my diabetes. The out of pocket costs....approximately $404 for a month supply.....nice.....

Posted by apersonalpainofview on 5 February 2012

Don't skip taking your insulin. I tried, thinking losing weight made it ok. I was short on money for my $70 co-pay. I ended up in the ER, two days of ICU, and a third day on a regular floor..Yikes don't want to think about that bill... On a better note I have found a nutitious line of food and beverages that have enabled me to lose 22 pounds and get my blood sugar down to a 28 day avg of 128. email me at evansmonavie.com or check us out at http://evanshealthandwealth.mymonavie.com/ JOIN THE 90 Day Rvlution and reveal the new you!

Posted by Anonymous on 13 August 2012

This just happened to me also. I've been a type 1 for 20 years. My husband just lost his insurance and we are without. The only option we have is cobra which is expensive. I start college in a week and have told welfare that my staus will be changing since ill only be working 16 to 20 hours a week which isn't enough to cover my supplies. Also I have to have proof of insurance for what I'm going to school for. What a mess! I've been so stressed out lately over insurance and school that its been hard to control my diabetes. Can't believe how heartless welfare and insurance companies are. Its not my fault I have diabetes. They call us high risk. Ha! What a joke! I bet I'm healthier as a diabetic then these big shot insurance companies that sit behind their desks on their fat asses denying us coverage!

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