Sometimes, when everything seems to be as stupid as it can possibly get, a few wonderful people step in to remind you that there is normalcy and kindness in a diabetes world run by insurance companies.
Last week, I called my CDE to request a new glucagon prescription. I’d been without one of those trusty red boxes for a few months, and had been reminded by my husband about 673 times to get a new one. My CDE told me she’d send one in to the Walgreens down the street from my house, and I went on my merry way, happy to have half of an annoying errand behind me.
I got a call from her secretary the next day. “It looks like your insurance company isn’t covering your glucagon,” she said. “So Cathy’s going to type up a letter of necessity and put it in the mail tomorrow.”
As distraught as I was at the possibility of fighting another battle with my insurance company, it was good to know that my CDE had my back. The woman never lets me down, and is always there to tell some doctor or insurance company how it is.
When I got to Walgreens that evening, the pharmacist echoed my CDE’s message. “It’s not covered,” he said, and handed me my other prescription. Which had this note on it:
I didn’t see the note until I got home, and when I did, I laughed. Hard. OTC glucose tablets available for low sugar? That’s like handing someone with a deadly peanut allergy a note that says “Epi pen not covered by insurance (or insuranse). OTC Benadryl available for allergies.”
I couldn’t NOT share this comedy gold with the rest of the world, so I tweeted the picture right away and posted it to Facebook. I expected some commiseration, but my DOC Fairy Godfather would take it a step further. The next morning, I got an email asking for my address. “I can get you some glucagon. It’s $30 on my insurance, I think. I’ll put it in the mail as soon as I can get my paws on it.”
I was touched. Not only was a fellow DOC-er and real-life friend coming to my diabetes supply rescue again, I would also get to participate in some illicit insurance-defying supply-swapping. I would get some glucagon after all — even if it was delivered in the dead of night by a carrier pigeon wearing night-vision goggles!
The next day I went back to Walgreens to pick up another prescription, and saw my favorite BFF pharmacy tech at the window. It was the perfect opportunity to bring up the “glucogen” issue.
“Okay, I know you didn’t do this, because you’re normal and cool,” I began.
“Oh God. What happened?” she asked.
I explained the glucagon and the crazy note, and I told her that if insurance wouldn’t cover it, I’d have to go ahead and buy it myself, because, well, I needed it.
“Of course you need it! What the hell is wrong with them?” Then: “Uh, do you know how much glucagon costs? It’s like 300 dollars.”
She told me she’d try to run it through a discount program. While she did that, I wandered around to survey eye shadow and shake weights. She had a surprise for me when I came back!
“It’s covered!” she called out of the little pharmacist cage. “They made a mistake the first time. I ran it again, and it’s covered! Thirty-five bucks!” We both did a little dance.
It was a happy ending, but I felt a little guilty. Here I’d inconvenienced my CDE, a friend, and all my poor Twitter followers who had to put up with my complaining a few days before. It wasn’t even my insurance company’s fault!
Of course, it was a frustrating experience, but it gave me a renewed appreciation for the helpfully wonderful and wonderfully helpful people in my life.
Here’s hoping I don’t need that glucagon, anyway. I’d rather take the glucose tabs.