UPDATE: Part of my terror about this insulin coverage change was the fact that I wasn't sure if I would be eligible for unemployment insurance. I applied for unemployment and they asked me to fill out a seven-page form asking all kinds of questions in order to determine if I was eligible. I've been waiting, waiting, waiting on pins and needles to see if I would have any income, or be forced to start eating through my retirement savings (and paying a huge penalty for too-early withdrawal.) Well HALLELUIA, I just looked at my bank account and the state has started depositing unemployment insurance money into my account. This is a HUGE relief and will help me buy time on the insulin until I find another job and, hopefully, get better insurance coverage of medications.
I still hate Group Health, though, for what they are doing to diabetics. People shouldn't have to choose between insulin and a roof over their heads. Our whole medical system in the U.S. becomes more vicious and insanely cruel to sick people every day.
Hi folks. I haven't been around here in quite a while (long story.)
Today I had heart-shattering news: my insulin, which used to cost me a co-pay of $30-ish dollars has been kicked up to over $300 dollars. This is TEN TIMES more expensive than it used to be. I swear they've declared war on diabetics at Group Health Cooperative -- they want us to die so they don't have to cover us anymore (yes, I know I sound hysterical -- because I am hysterical.)
The only insulin left in their generic formulary are Novalin NPH and Novalin R. I've never taken either insulin. I have no idea how to dose them, how they're different, what to expect, how to switch over.
No one gave me any advance notice. I have 1-1/2 pens left of Novolog and 2 pens left of Lantus...and then that's it. I found all this out just this morning, when I went to refill my prescriptions. It was like being hit in the head with a rock when they quoted the price.
I have no idea what to do. My doctors have been utterly useless. I learned everything I know about managing insulin from talking to people like you on-line (you are all my angels) and from reading books like "How to Think Like a Pancreas". But I've been using Lantus and Novolog, so all my knowledge about how, when, how much, why...I feel like it's all been NUKED and I'm freaking out. I can't afford a ten-fold increase in the cost of my insulin. I'm unemployed right now and kind of hanging on by my fingernails.
I want to just stop injecting insulin, put a protest sign around my neck, and sit outside GHC's corporate offices until I go into DKA. If anyone has a better idea (!!!) I'd love to hear it.
Thanks and sorry for being so upset. I'm just freaking out.
Thanks! I feel much better today. At least the wolf is away from the door and down the block for a few months -- and not actively nibbling on my poor toes!!!
Hi Jean, I am so happy to see you are back. I missed your posts a lot, though I am so sorry it is under these circumstances.
I would start writing and leave a paper trail. A lot of people here have given you good suggestions. People on the phone can't be held to their word. There has to be a reg, process or appeal and Trudy is right, doctors signatures mean a lot.
It might not happen immediately but I think that you could push it though. In the interim get some help with the using the insulin you have. You can do this sweetie. We are all here to help. So sorry you have to go through such stress.
Hi acidrock23!!! As always, I like your style. ;0) The reason I didn't go down there in person was that I'm afraid I'd get so upset that I'd end up either in jail or in a padded cell. Orange isn't my best color, you know? I missed y'all. Even when I'm melting down, you can always make me laugh. No one understands the fear, anxiety, unpredictability and sheer nuttiness of diabetes -- or of dealing on a regular basis with doctors, insurance companies and pharmaceutical firms -- better than a gaggle of diabetics. I need you guys even more than I need insulin.
OK - I don't have time to read through all of the replies to see if anyone has suggested this, but Apidra is free right now (through April 2012).
It is basically the same as Novolog, so if you can get somebody to prescribe a 3 month supply, you should be able to have enough to get you through a few months? I believe the only differences between the 2 are the onset times and duration times. But the differences are negligible compared to NPH.
Unfortunately, there's nothing like that for long-acting insulins.
Jean nice to have you posting again, although I wish it was under better circumstances. I know the struggles you have been through, what this proves to me is that you are determined to get a handle on this disease, and you don't give up easily. I am certain you will meet this new challenge and prevail in the end.
It's a shame we are so spread apart geographically. You protesting at the corporate offices might not have an impact, but a hundred of us......the bad publicity would really hurt their bottom line. One thing bean counters pay attention to, above all else, is the bottom line.
They really have no leg to stand on, it's blatantly obvious they are doing this to save money by substituting an obsolete, cheaper product for a modern, more effective one. All you need is for a little light to shine on the situation.
Perhaps if you can let us know local media outlets we could write to in support of you receiving appropriate care.
AcidRocks call to direct action also has a certain appeal. 100 of us with golf clubs descending on the corporate offices... it would go down in diabetes legend, a story to tell our grandchildren:)
Great idea, 300 redeux, not sure I can pull off wearing these type uniforms though:)
In case the reference to the 300 leaves you confused, it refers to the 300 Spartans who defeated the Entire Persian army at Thermopylae in 480 BC.
Ohhhh I really like this line of thinking! :)
You know it's really a shame that, in my little mind, this is exactly the role that the ADA should be playing... with their heavy hitter congressional lobbyists. There is a real need for an unaffiliated organization to organize the lobbying efforts of PWD - one that represents only the view and the good of patient care.
I regularly write my legislative and congressional delegations ranting about the cost of diabetes care and I imagine that others do as well but it's so much more effective when there's a coordinated effort and they get blasted all at once. I've seen it first hand with our state legislature on other issues where they basically beg for the calls and letters to stop.
The need is definitely there, this same story plays out every day and most have no recourse. I think their tactic is simply to wear us down so we give up.
With all of us thinking that "going 300 on 'em" sounds fun, I hope they are at least nervous. It's only fair, given the amount of distress they cause us! I used up all of my cortisol last night, and it was too late to go to the cortisol store and pick up some more. Making them miss a night or two of sleep now and then seems only fair.
Hi, BadMoonT2 -- great to hear from my guitar buddies! Yes, taking a hundred golf clubs to their home office would make for a great story in the annals of diabetic history -- but I'm trying to not break my perfect record of having never been "locked in the pokey by the Man".