June’s Prompt: Regardless of which type of diabetes you have – T1 T2 or T3 – you probably use one or more diabetes devices on a daily basis. For this post, when we refer to devices we mean blood glucose meters, insulin pens or pumps, and all other diabetes medications. This month we’re going to revisit the May 15th chat on Diabetes Devices and really think about what we use. We’d like to know:
How do you select the diabetes devices you use? To others looking into new or replacement devices, what would be your best advice to someone shopping around?
It’s simple really. What will my insurance cover for me at little to no out-of-pocket expense or what can I get for free?
I’m a Medtronic Minimed user by default. My old HMO had a contract ONLY with Medtronic so that’s what I was ordered when it was decided that pump therapy was the way to go. So I didn’t even get a chance to research Animus, et. al. My insurance was going to cover a Minimed… the end.
Same goes for my One Touch meters. The HMO didn’t cover the Accucheck brand strips – so all of the fun meters I saw and wanted to try were unavailable unless I wanted to pay full price. And as a poor college grad, why the hell would I want to pay full price for anything when I could get it for 20% and or free?
My new HMO is a bit more flexible. Apparently I can order strips for my Bayer Contour Link with no problem or added expense pending I didn’t already fill a 3 month supply of One Touch strips.
That said, I wish I had done more research before blindly calling Medtronic and ordering their CGM. Yeah – I didn’t like the idea of carrying around two devices all the time, especially when I barely have the pocket space to fit one. So having the one inclusive device was very appealing to me. However, given all of the issues I’ve had with my Minimed CGM, I really wish I had just stopped, thought about it, maybe tried it out (which I wasn’t sure I could do), asked more questions, etc. But I think I was so excited at the prospect of even being able to get one for the first time that I just jumped on the most readily available option. (My old HMO also didn’t cover CGMs unless you were deemed “brittle,” which… I don’t understand why.)
I’m happy to have the technology that I do. But my decisions really come down to the bottom dollar. I’m stubborn enough to not want to pay an exorbitant amount of money for my care, especially if I can get something that works “okay” or “half-way decent” 85% of the time. I’m excited when things are covered at all.
If you are looking for a new device, and money is no object, kudos! Explore all of your options and figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle. Don’t want a meter that take more than 10 seconds to give you a reading? Don’t get one – there are plenty of other options out there. Check out websites, reviews from other users, call and harass customer care.
If money is an object, consult your medical insurance, HMO, and docs to make sure THEY haven’t already made the decision for you like they did for me.
This post is my June entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2013/june-dsma-blog-carnival-3/