Thursday, April 12, 2012

Insurance Company Is Driving Me Crazy! Any Suggestions? Help Needed! Update…


Hubby and I went to the E.R. this morning. We got there at 7am and it took over 2 hours for hubby to get his shot. The woman at the registration desk was very rude. She told us that hubby needing an insulin injection was not a medical emergency. She wouldn’t register him so I asked to speak with the Triage nurse. She was very nice, got him registered but then we had to wait until they spoke with hubby’s doctor before they would give him his injection. The doctor who saw hubby said “You would be surprised at how often people who aren’t diabetic come in asking for insulin injections.” They wouldn’t give us a vial of insulin to bring home but they did give him a card to show at the registration desk so he doesn’t have to see a doctor if he has to keep going there for his injections – just show the card and a nurse will inject his insulin.

I called the insurance company as soon as we got back from the hospital and they still refuse to cover more insulin. To make matters worse, they said he would not get his refill until April 23rd. I thought it was the 19th but I checked with the pharmacy and they said the 23rd was correct.

I have tried everything I can think of but at least hubby can get his injections at the E.R. for the next 10 days but it will be costly going back and forth to the hospital twice a day because it is 15 miles from our house.

I really appreciate all the suggestions about ways to get help. The area we live in just doesn’t have many of the services that urban areas offer. If any ideas come to mind, please post or email me. I am willing t try most anything.




As I touched on at the end of my previous post, my husband is having trouble getting his insulin. I hate to bore everyone with the details but we are desperate to find a solution to this problem.

My husband has been using insulin pens to inject his insulin. Last week we realized after his blood sugar levels were much higher than usual that the pens weren’t delivering the correct amount of insulin. I contacted the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the pens and they said to stop using the pens but keep them in case they decided to have us send them the pens to be examined. That caused us a big problem because hubby’s insurance company had just bought the 30 day supply of insulin pens plus pen needles that screw on the pens to inject the insulin and they refused to buy vials and syringes. We had to buy a vial of insulin and syringes while trying to get things sorted out.

Yesterday, Hubby’s doctor and our pharmacist both talked to the insurance company and the insurance company agreed to buy him some syringes but said he could withdraw the insulin from the pens with a syringe until time for his insulin to be refilled and then he could be switched to the vials. I wasn’t sure how to withdraw the insulin from the pens – I didn’t know whether to put air in like you do with a vial or not – so I called the manufacturer and asked them how to withdraw the insulin and they said do not withdraw the insulin from the pens because if they are defective, which we know they are, then the insulin might be contaminated. The manufacturer thinks there might be plastic particles in the insulin from the damaged part of the pens. They said they were overnighting a postage paid bubble mailer for us to use to send the pens to them. I called the insurance company and they said they will not pay for more insulin at this time and said the manufacturer is probably just worried that we might sue them over the defective pens. They said we should use syringes, draw hubby’s doses out of  all the pens, put the caps back on the syringes, store the syringes with the insulin in them in the refrigerator so hubby could use them as needed and then mail the empty insulin pens to the manufacturer.

UPS delivered the mailer this morning so now we are between a rock and a hard place. Hubby uses a vial of insulin every 4 days so he only has enough insulin in the vial we purchased for his injection this evening. If we mail the pens with the insulin in them as requested, he won’t have insulin for tomorrow but the pharmaceutical company says the insulin might have tiny plastic particles floating in it. I have looked and can’t see anything in the insulin but it is a cloudy type of insulin so it might be hard to see the particles or they could be too small to be visible. I called the pharmacist and she also advised us not to use the insulin. Hubby’s doctor said he could come to his office and he would give him some insulin but we live 120 miles from the doctor’s office and we used all our money to get his insulin and syringes so we can’t afford to make the trip. Crazy, I know but when we moved five years ago my husband did not want to find another doctor. He said it had taken him 20 years to break that one in and he wasn’t going through that again until his doctor retired. So every four months, we make the trip back to our hometown so he can see his doctor and if he gets sick in between he goes to the urgent care department at the clinic I go to.

Should we use the insulin in the pens or if not does anyone have any suggestions as to how my husband can get two vials of insulin to last until April 19th when his insurance will pay again? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Please email or post here with any ideas. Thanks!


1 comment:

Nyah said...

Blade, I am a type II diabetic and have dealt with a similar issue before. Luckily I live in a large city and I can always find my Levamir pens, but before they were so common it was hard to find. Once I had the pens, but none of the tips after the little 5 pack inside the box was gone.

Here is what I would do-
Hubby has already taken that insulin and it didn't make him sick or hurt him. So the "defect" is most likely in the delivery system. Hubby probably was not getting enough of the drug.

Take the pen tip off the pen and there should be a little rubber "bubble". Take a syringe and while holding the pen with the top side pointing to the floor, plunge the needle tip into the rubber port and draw out the appropriate dosage for Hubby.

I would do this for all your syringes- use all the insulin in the pens except for a tiny amount just so they can examine it.

I used regular syringes with the pens for two days until my pen tips were available and it was fine.

I hope everything works out, Blade & Hubby.