Wednesday, June 18, 2008

CGMS Coverage

Yesterday Kerri posted about being denied for CGM coverage by her insurance company. She also posted her letter. Denials seem to be going around lately. Things are still iffy with my continual coverage. I wrote my letter and sent it. I am going to post mine also. Voices are being raised as more and more people are being denied for this new technology. Yes, it's new. No, it's not perfect. But it's helping countless people. Sadly, others are being denied the help by insurance and are not financially able to pay for the device and sensors out of pocket. This is the category that I fit in. TuDiabetes has a whole section dedicated to this.
Manny also posted a video about it, which I am going to put at the bottom of this post.
I am still waiting to hear what the outcome of the policy decision was from my insurance company. And waiting. And waiting.

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Cara Richardson. I am 27 years old. Twenty-three years ago this month, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It was 1985; I was four years old. Home glucose testing was relatively new. Still in it’s baby stages. It took 90 seconds to get a glucose reading.
Over the years technology has greatly improved, as most of the world knows. I have gone from two shots per day to 4, to more. And then to an insulin pump. It helped me get greater control over my diabetes. I could talk for hours about how the insulin pump changed my life. But I won’t.
Instead I will tell you about my life since I was able to receive the MiniMed Constant Glucose Monitoring System. I live alone. Prior to CGMS, my best friend would call me every morning at 7:00 to see if I was awake. And alive. Most nights, I would wake myself at midnight and 3 am to test my blood sugar. Some nights it was high. Very high. And I would correct. There were nights it was so low that I wonder how it was even possible that I woke up to test.
My mother spent countless hours wondering and worrying about me. Over the years of having diabetes I have lost nearly all of my ability to detect my lows on my own. Most of the time the people around me would notice the signs before I did. All my family and friends, and even some of my co-workers were trained to use a glucagon pen in the event I should pass out.
I would have to test up to 14 times per day. Before meals, after meals, on breaks, before driving, any time someone suggested that I might need to check my blood sugar.
I work a full time job and am lucky to have any insurance at all. I am truly grateful for all that Blue Cross has allowed me to do. My health is the most important thing to me. And CGMS has drastically improved my life and overall well-being.
Now that I have CGMS, I no longer have to wake myself to test in the middle of the night. My best friend doesn’t feel the need to call me every morning. My co-workers don’t panic if I am five minutes late to work. My A1c, in just two months, dropped from 6.7 to 6.3. When I go back to the doctor in August, I expect it to have dropped even more. I am hoping to get an A1c to a non-diabetic level of below 6.0. Scientifically we all know that a non-diabetic level is much healthier, long term, than any higher A1c.
Long term complications are not in my plan. I want to ward them off in any way possible. However, the out-of-pocket costs is more than I can spend. The monthly cost for sensors is more than my rent. As a single person, living alone, surviving on one income, I cannot afford to pay for these out of pocket.
Without this coverage, I would have to go back to being afraid that I might not wake up one morning. I must wake up nightly to be sure that this doesn’t happen. My friends and family will have to be afraid for me, and constantly call to check on me. I will go back to checking my blood sugar 10 to 14 times per day. My A1c will sneak back up on me.
I understand the astronomical cost of CGMS, but the long term cost of complications would add up to so much more. I would like to keep myself healthy, and complication free, because I feel that the scientific community is on the edge of a breakthrough. I want to be healthy, so that when there is a cure, I can live the rest of my life happy, and healthy.
Thank you for your time. I hope you understand how important it is that I continue to receive help for this coverage.


Cara Richardson
Type 1 Diabetic

Find more videos like this on Tu Diabetes - A Community for People Touched by Diabetes

1 comment:

Patty said...

Great letter, Cara! I don't use CGMS but I think it's ridiculous that these companies will deny you coverage. I should write some letters too.