Monday, June 20, 2011

Some red tape

Getting Brooke's diabetic supplies set up on our insurance mail order routine was on my May to-do list.

I am so thankful for our medical insurance. I'm not sure how we would afford everything that Brooke needs if we didn't have it. Our prescription insurance requires us to order all long term medicine and supplies through their mail order service.

Actually, they allow us to fill our prescription at the local pharmacy 3 times, and then we are forced to order through the mail or pay full price. June marked the first time we needed to fill one of Brooke's insulins the 4th time. So, basically, my choices were to figure out how the whole mail order thing works or pay full price for the insulin.

I couldn't put it off any longer. I was up against a wall, which is pretty much how things get done around here...not until they absolutely have to.

A full week before we needed the insulin, I got online to order it. Because even Apple doesn't take a week to ship their inventory. Oh, they say it will take 7 days, but it never does. And how much busier is Apple than a little old prescription mail order service?

It turns out, it wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be to order medication that only a doctor can prescribe on the internet, arrange a payment method, have it packed in temperature appropriate packaging, and delivered by the US Postal Service.

And it was certainly going to take longer than a week to see it sitting on our doorstep.

And it's actually cheaper to order a 90 day supply instead of 30.

And there was no way I was going to convince them that I didn't really need every prescription the nurse faxed in, I just wanted a couple of them and have the rest on file for later. I am really fine on the alcohol pads and Ketostix (or whatever they are called).

The nice lady was having none of that. If the nurse faxed it in we must need it, so she's going to send it.

I finally gave up and prepared Honey for a crazy-large bill. No, we don't need everything, but they can't not send it. No, it won't cost this much every month. We'll just have a stash of supplies that will last FOR-EV-VER.

About five days into the process, I thought everything was done and we would see supplies just any minute now, there was a message on our answering machine. It was from a nice girl in the billing department saying that the total of our bill was larger than they could ship without approval and could I please call so they can get our stuff shipped.

I called back and she very gingerly told me what our bill was and that even though I had pre-authorized them to bill our credit card, this amount was too large to fall under the pre-authorized category. She asked if I was expecting such a large bill.

To be honest, I didn't know what all the nurse ordered, but I was pleasantly surprised. I knew what the bill was for a 30 day supply the first time I went to the pharmacy after Brooke was diagnosed, so what she was telling me seemed reasonable for 3 months.

It won't cost that much every 3 months. We will be able to only order what we need from here on out. I think. But I appreciate the nice girl calling and checking first.

And then 13 days after that phone call we got this:

900 alcohol pads
500 lancets
500 test strips
2 glucagons
15 vials of Novolog
10 Lantus pens (which was the original need, thank goodness for samples from the doctor)
540 insulin pen needles (the new, really small ones...Brooke is stoked!)
2 bottles of Ketostix (if that's not how it's spelled, it should be)

It feels like we'll never use all those alcohol pads. I'm thinking the insulin will last about 9 months. Pray we never need the glucagons. At 4 shots a day, the needles should last a little over 4 months.

Now, I've got to figure out where to put it all.

And mark on my calendar the day I need to start the re-order process. I thought I was pretty adept at online shopping, but this is definitely more involved than ordering a cover for the iPhone from Apple.


Misty said...


I have a good friend whose son was diagnosed diabetic on New years. It's been quite and up and down battle for them. (he's 12) I can't even imagine. We have THE absolute worst insurance and it makes me want to go hang my head in the toilet just thinking about what something like this would do to us financially... bless your hearts... bless Brooke... :(

thesisterhoodofspiritualsinglemoms said...

You and your daughter are in my prayers. I am Type 2 diabetic and so is my dad and my grandfather. It is all over both sides of my family. Mostly Type 2, but my dad's first cousin was Type 1. I also have a very, very dear friend whose daughter is Type 1. She is 12 now, but was diagnosed right before her first birthday. It is so hard to deal with everything. When I have bad days I have to remind myself I could be dealing with something a lot worse, but some days that doesn't always make me feel better. I can't imagine how hard it would be for a kid to have to manage. My son has a good friend who is 14 and was diagnosed with Type 1 in Jan. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I have 3 children, my sister has 5, and my brother has 3. We are all scared that one day it will affect one of our kids the way they are all genetically predisposed to it. I had gestational and took insulin with my daughter and I fear for all of mine. Take care. I know how hard it was for my friend taking care of her daughter. It is a lot of responsibility and very stressful at times, but you do what you have to do for your kids.

kimberly t. bowling said...

Bless y'alls heart...glad to see you have a good supply stocked up, not having to pay full price, and then at the same time,sad that you have to have so much for your baby girl...bless her heart!