Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Picking My Battles

Last time I posted, I was discussing going into battle with my insurance company over the cost of test strips. I had intended on calling Monday, but got busy and work and forgot. Tuesday, I planned to call on my lunch hour. As I was walking through the door to my apartment for lunch, my phone rang. It was a representative from MiniMed calling me to discuss my CGMS. My doctor's office had contacted them to get help on writing the request for my CGMS that has to go to my insurance company.

The gentleman was calling from a local Tennessee office only a few hours from my home. He asked me a series of questions, requested my pump and meter download information, and gave me both his name and phone number to call if I had any questions about anything. This is basically the first real step to getting the CGMS. If the insurance company denies the request (which they nearly always do), we will work on appealing it.

While I had him on the phone, I asked him when it looked like the meters were going to be changing to the One Touch meters. He said they are still saying spring, but he had heard rumor that they were looking at March. That piece of information made my life very happy. March is only a few months away.

With that on my mind, I decided to pick my battle. I know they keep records of all our phone calls, complaints, requests, etc. at the insurance company. Due to this, I do not want to cause too much of a fuss until I get my CGMS approved. If March is an accurate date for the One Touch switchover, then I will suck it up, pay the extra cost, and wait on the One Touch.

This reminds me of the recent posts of Amylia, over at Amazing Grace. She has been discussing the cost of diabetes. With or without health insurance, diabetes is expensive. In this instance, I am going to have to pay $40 per month, for several months, for my test strips. I understand that this is a great deal cheaper than if I had no insurance at all. I am always thankful for my access to good health insurance. But it is still hard to make it on one income (and not a very big income at that!) when you are paying out of pocket-costs every month. It's like another loan payment. But this one never gets paid off.

4 comments:

Wingman said...

How did you start the dialogue with minimed about the CGMS - that would really help me with training but the cost is too prohbitive.

Cara said...

My doctor's office actually called MiniMed about getting the paperwork correct for the insurance company. They told the doctor's office that they would put together the request by calling me and talking to me and then send the request to the doctor's office so that the doctor could sign it and then the office will send it into the insurance company. If you call MiniMed, I would think that they would discuss the option with you, even without your doctor's office. But I am not sure about that.

Donna said...

Cara,
Sounds like a good decision - but a tough one, huh?

Hopefully, you won't have to go through an appeal process with your insurance company for the CGMS. Appeals are crazy. It's not impossible to get a denial overturned, but they do make you jump through a lot of hoops in the process. Here's hoping you won't have to go through that. Good luck!

Amylia said...

I know you will get the CGMS approved, at least eventually. And March really isn't that far off, at all.

I know what you mean about the cost of diabetes--you and I are both wonderful but single women and when you only have 1 income, and a relatively low one at that and are paying off student loans, paying for your apartment, for good healthy food, for utilities, phone bills, car payments, gas and the rest of it all, it gets to be SO expensive!!

We gotta stick together!! :)