I have a drug problem


Now that you’ve fallen for my cheap, attention-grabbing ploy, let me clarify: after another year of white-knuckling it through “HR analyzes health coverage plans season,” a nightmare has come true.

It went something like this: I hit CVS to pick up my prescription for a three-month supply of Humalog, one of two insulins I must take.

Imagine my surprise to learn that the copay had jumped from $60 in October to $150—an increase of more than 100%.

I politely left without my insulin but filled with a faint cold fear that overshadowed the remainder of my weekend.

Turns out, although, ostensibly, my insurance coverage didn’t change (our HR, the capable Erika, thoroughly researches options every year), through some fancy footwork by the insurer, which shall remain nameless but rhymes with Barvard Milgrim, it did change things up some on the drug benefit.

That goes for my other insulin and apparently, everything else related to diabetes meds and supplies (even lancets for crying out loud). It looks like even their PREFERRED brand of test strips (which I had to switch to two years ago) will also be grouped in this third tier with the higher copay.

As I was moaning about this at the office, a coworker asked if there were other options for insulin (as in cheaper). However, all insulins are not created equal, except perhaps, in the eyes of the payer.

Even if I wanted to switch from a product I’ve used successfully since diagnosis, to one that works differently (and would greatly impact my quality of life)? Just, no.

And let me tell you, HME News coworkers, if you think I’m difficult to accommodate now when it comes to a communal work meal?

Plus, why is it that, in health care, we can be forced to change from an excellent product to one that is less excellent and have that be considered a reasonable option? If your cell phone plan for your iPhone6 is too rich for your budget, do you consider switching back to the iPhone4? Hell no!

All may not be lost: I think I can buy a cheaper syringe out-of-pocket at Walmart (I don’t shop at Walmart—ever—so this is an extra trip. And a moral outrage.)

It also looks like I can do the same with a CVS brand of strips and meter. The meter has a memory but I doubt it has download capabilities, which means the additional step of entering numbers into my Glucose Buddy app or old schooling it with paper logs. Really?

So, fingers crossed, it’ll all even out in the wash, but the impact is definitely a negative in this girl’s logbook.