Diabetes Blogs

Insurance: A Double-Edged Sword

Ah, insurance. Is there anything we love complaining about more? It gives us what we need, yet never seems to fit our needs just quite right. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful that I am fortunate enough to have health insurance. Without it, I honestly don't know how I would get all the medical supplies necessary for my diabetes. However, it's hard to not get frustrated when your insurance gives you the supplies you need to live--but on their terms.

For example, as a type 1 diabetic I need insulin to live. As me myself, I benefit more from Apidra. My insurance company recently decided, however, that they only wish to cover Humalog. I was able to stay on Apidra after obtaining a letter of medical necessity from my doctor, but that isn't the point. The point is that after a while it is tiresome to have to jump through hoops to survive in the way you prefer--a preference that should be a basic human right.

Imagine if every week you went to the supermarket to buy bread, but you could only buy the bread the supermarket chose for you. Only one choice of bread, and that choice is not up to you. Doesn't matter if it makes you gag, if you don't like the taste, or what. You need the food to live. But you don't get to live on your terms.

This is the paradox of insurance: you thank God for it, you need it, you couldn't live without it. But it's bossy and controlling and extraordinarily frustrating. I am especially feeling this as I get busier and more involved in graduate school, and would really benefit from having a sensor.  When my A1C is elevated, it's hard for me to say off the top of my head why, and what's been going on. Diabetes floats to the back of my mind behind homework, papers, field work, work work, volunteering, and attempting to socialize. My memory and my focus gets blurred and I struggle to get a grip on BG patterns. This would be much easier if I had a sensor to show me in real time what was happening to my blood sugar.  But, alas--my insurance will not cover a sensor.  And I don't exactly have over $1000 to spare.

Why won't my insurance cover a sensor? Because it is "not medically necessary." Unfortunately, a letter from my doctor didn't work this time. What's frustrating is that it is medically necessary. Can't they see that? Preventative care is just as important as emergency care. Call me crazy, but I don't want to wait until my A1C has been elevated for too long and I start to suffer from diabetes complications so that I can then get "medically necessary" services--services that would be far more expensive, evasive, and elaborate.

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