Frozen Insulin & Many Tears.
Frozen – The Movie Diabetic’s Nightmare
Last Thursday started out like any other day: I headed to the gym after work, picked up some of my prescriptions at my local pharmacy, and then stopped by Golden Spoon to get my boyfriend a tasty treat. Ok, I confess – I wanted a few bites too ; ) When I got home, I rushed to put things away along with accidently placing my insulin in the freezer with my frozen yogurt. It wasn’t until I took the yogurt out for my boyfriend and I realized my insulin was there too!
On the bottle of Humalog, it clearly states “do NOT freeze.” I decided to Google the question and was presented with the same response online – freezing the insulin makes it ineffective and causes extremely high blood sugar in addition to dangerous keytones in urine. No, thank you.
The next morning, I quickly called my pharmacy, explained to them my situation and requested to get the insulin refilled again. I even relayed to them that I had both bottles of my new insulin completely full and would be glad to turn those in as well. The pharmacist replied asking if I “wanted to pay out of pocket?” I knew immediately this was going to be expensive; each bottle of insulin was $550 for a total of $1,100 due. Getting weepy (I couldn’t help it!) – I asked if they had any form of “forgiveness policy” due to the fact that I had never requested a prescription before it was due. The answer was no.
Next was to ask my insurance company on what to do. A Cigna agent by the name of Tim assisted me and said that he couldn’t do anything for me either and that I would have to wait until my next refill was due in 2 weeks. I couldn’t believe this! They would rather deny me of my need for insulin and have me end up in the ICU which would be much (much) more expensive to cover?
My next call was to ask my #1 consultant – my Mother. Even weepier now, she first told me to breathe and calm down. (And I am sure she thought my tears meant something worse. Sorry again for the scare Mom.) She then advised that I should call my doctor and ask them if they could help me out. This was my last chance before I would have to shell out $1,100 for new meds. My doctor’s concerned nurse asked if I was covered with insulin for the upcoming weekend (which I was) because my doctor was out of the office for the day and she would need his approval; they would have 2 new bottles for me on Monday. Best. News. Ever.
It’s not that fact that I (… or my helpful Parents) wouldn’t have paid the $1,100 to avoid me ending up in the ICU but that my insurance wouldn’t cover the extra insulin. In the almost 6 years since my Type One diagnosis, I had never requested an extra supply of anything. And with a bill of over $35K when I was firstly in the ICU during my initial diagnosis, they would really want to cover all of that AGAIN? I didn’t have any control over getting Type One Diabetes. It’s an autoimmune disease that wasn’t caused by my eating habits (which are great) or lack of exercise (which are ever better). An extra supply of complimentary insulin would cost Cigna almost nothing.
This will never seem fair to me however that’s the end of my “Frozen” rant. And yes – it’s time for me to “Let it Go.”
XO, Anna Amy