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.

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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.

Tags: Lantus, Novolog, cost, coverage, insurance

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jean..wendy here. been thinking about you, glad to see you post again. i can meet you and give you my lantus (i'm using levemir and going on a pump next week and won't need it) i have both an unopened vile and pens..i can also give you an unopened vial of both aprida and humalog, i am going to continue with novolog on my pump. happy to do it! and yes, they're 'giving away' aprida right now.

What a kind hearted, well meaning thng to do, Type1Gal. Every one has been great.. We really rock here on Tudiabetes. So many kind oeople!!! It seems like Jean will be able to get the Apidra, at least for a while, until her situation gets straightened out with insuramce. And your Lantus will certainly help her. You ARE a dear.

God Bless,
Brunetta

That is so kind and generous Type1Gal. :)

Thanks, Wendy. I'll keep your kind offer in mind as I weigh my options.

Jean, please meet with Type1gal! And write Patty Murray. This situation is beyond belief.

Hey Jean Nice to see u posting here again.

Hi Doris D -- thank you. I missed y'all. I hope you're well?

I'm busy with my phone and my calculator this morning, trying to nail down EXACT figures on how much the various insulins will cost on an IU per day, IU per week and IU per month basis. It's been a fascinating education -- there really is a huge difference. The bottom line is that if I keep doing what I've been doing (55 IU per day from Lantus pens, and approx. 50 IU per day from Novolog pens), it will now cost me $491.94 per 90 days -- versus my old cost of no more than $90.00 for 90 days. This is on top of my premiums of $425/month (which also went up.) With my other medications and necessary vitamins (e.g. vitamin D which is low and dropping) I'll be shelling out about $700 per month, not counting any co-pays for labs or doctor visits, e.g. I'll have to pay $50 to have my annual diabetic eye check next week and I spent over $1,000 in co-pays for all kinds of heart tests when I was sick during the fall. Let's be generous and say $800 per month during a good year, and $900 per month or more during a bad year. Pretty soon this is going to add up to being real money!!! (Gah.)

Geez, I'm sorry you're going through this Jean. This is what I hate about our health care system.

We have very high deductible insurance so non of our medications are covered at all until we spend $11,000 per year. It really stinks but that is the only insurance we can afford and it still costs us $550 per month. My doctor suggested insulin to me and he suggested the NPH too. I am not quite there yet but when I do I will use it if I need it. My husband gets all of his expensive drugs from Canada. They do have insulin at quite cheaper prices. You may want to check them out

www.northwestpharmacy.com

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