Category Archives: Diabetes Journal

Blood Sugar Meters – Not all are alike

Freestyle Lite Meter

Freestyle Lite Meter

Is one blood sugar meter as good as the next?

The Wood Family says, “NO!”

Since our family of three diabetics recently changed insurance, we had to start using new blood sugar testing meters.  We were using the Freestlyle Lite’s for many, many years but the new insurance does not cover the test strips.  As any diabetic knows, the test strips are extremely expensive so we had to switch.

Accu-chek Meter

Accu-chek Meter

Our options were Accu-Chek or the One Touch.  I chose the Accu-Chek Nano because it was the one that most looked like the Freestyle Lite meter.  I filled the prescription of the strips and bought 3 meters and thought we were in business.  Well, when I brought the new meters home to my family you would have thought I brought home a bag of live snakes.  They did not want anything to do with them.  Getting them to just try the meter required me threatening to never buy them another skinny mocha from Starbucks again.

OneTouch Ultra2 Meter

OneTouch Ultra2 Meter

Once they tried it, it did not get any better.  The new meter requires at least twice as much blood and often gives an error message requiring re-testing.  I am sure to the insurance companies changing their meters shouldn’t be this big of a deal.  It has turned into a very big deal in the Wood house.  Let’s face it diabetes stinks and when you find something you like, you just want to keep it! Anyway, wish me luck.  I am off to the pharmacy to buy a single One Touch meter to have them all try.  (Fingers Crossed)

Tricia Wood

New Medical Insurance Nearly Makes Head Explode

My daughter Abby was diagnosed at 5 years old in 2002.  My oldest daughter was diagnosed at age 12 in 2007.  My husband was diagnosed at age 40 in late 2011.  To say that the pharmacist knows me by name is an understatement.

The pharmacist greets me at the drive-thru window with my varied collection of bags when he sees my car in the line.  Sometimes he motions to me to come inside because all of my prescriptions will not fit through the window.  Because of the sheer volume of medications my family requires, I am on auto-fill, auto-pay and anything else they offer to get me in and out as quickly as humanly possible.

However, last month my husband started a new job with new health and prescription coverage.  If you are like me? Chills just went down your spine!  Most people can simply wait to get their new health cards and prescription cards in the mail.  Do I have that kind of time? NO, I need stuff now, today, every day!!  So, I called my new prescription coverage office and asked them what I need to do in order to get my prescriptions covered today before my cards arrived in the mail.  He simply said to tell the pharmacy the new health insurance company’s name and my husband’s social security number.  Easy enough.  Off to the pharmacy I go.

The pharmacist chuckled heartily and said, “That is not how this works.  I need the BIN#, PCN#, ID# and Group#.”  I innocently asked, “Then how much is the insulin without the coverage?”  He flatly replied, “$535.96”

Uhg!  As my household uses many vials a week, this was not an option.  My eyes begin to fill with tears, and I place a call back to my pharmacy coverage office.  I listened to many perfectly good 80’s songs that have now been reduced to elevator music, and waited for help to come through on the other end of the phone line.  Luckily, when they did get on the phone they were happy to give me the numbers I needed and were surprised I had to call back.  Of course, the representative, Steve, I spoke with just an hour earlier did not seem to exist anymore.

After I returned to my pharmacy, I made everyone wait behind me while I meticulously updated everyone’s medical information in my family.  Sorry to the people behind me, but I cannot risk the new medical insurance denying my shopping list of prescriptions.  So, if you find yourself in a similar situation one day, needing your diabetes supplies before the mail can deliver your new insurance cards, gather ALL the above information.  A social security number will not always do the trick!

Tricia Wood