DBlog Week Day Four: Imagine Your Superdevice: Insurance thinks it exists

May 17, 2012By 3 Comments

Today’s Diabetes Blog Week prompt: Describe your ultimate diabetes tool or invention. Strangely, our prescription insurance provider hinted just yesterday that one may already exist.


How my insurance thinks insulin pens work.

I was on the phone with insurance, time that in D-Mom life is rather like Dog Years: it ticks time off our life clock way quicker than just regular years (I honestly think at this point I’ve wasted seven good years of my life explaining, demanding, begging, arguing or just plain old cajoling with insurance at this point). Talking to insurance folks make me want to drive needles under my fingernails, if I could get them to approve the needles in the first place.

So yesterday, while pondering what I’d write about for amazing devices, I remembered it was time to do a “big fill” for Lauren – meaning a few types of insulin pens, some needles, strips, glucagon and various pill-form medications she takes. Those big ones are always a hoot. I dialed, thinking positive thoughts since this was my first refill on our new insurance plan.

I gave her the name of the pens (for those of you who don’t know, insulin pens are like, well, pens that hold the insulin inside them. You just twist a small needle on the top and its an easy way not only to carry your insulin around, but to inject as well. And the pen look is less intimidating for the wimpy rest of the world that cowers at needles).

She clicked a few keys and let me know that both types of pen were all set and would be shipped. Then I told her we needed more of the needles that go on top too. I could hear her tapping away at her computer. Then she paused and said, “Okay, so those aren’t covered.”

Say what? The pen with the insulin in it is covered, but the needle you need to get the insulin out of the pen and into your body is not? I said that much to her. She put me on hold, came back, tapped some more and then said (and I give her credit for sounding embarrassed):

“Yes. So the pens are a necessity and are therefore covered. The needles are considering a luxury item and are not. I’m very sorry.”

Let me just say this again. The pens with the insulin in them are covered. The needles to get the insulin into my daughter’s body and keep her alive are a “luxury.”

 And then it dawned on me:

The pens are actually magic wands! Somehow I’d missed something. No longer would my daughter have to stab herself to inject insulin into her body. From now on she could just grab hold of her insulin pen, wave it over her head and voila! She’d magically have just the right amount of insulin she needed. Amazing!

With just the right mix of feigned awe, breathless admiration and sarcasm, I declared this to the customer service rep (who, again, was a nice woman. Poor thing, getting me on the phone). She paused for a bit. I could feel her figuring out what to say;; probably making “crazy client” gestures to the worker in the next cubicle. And then I told her I was just joking.

And paid for the “luxury” needles out-of-pocket.

So what if we really could have some kind of magic wand? I would love it to work the way I described above, but we all know that’s folly. So here’s what I think would be cool: some kind of mini-scanner computer thingy that you wave over your plate before you eat and it visually counts all the carbs there, down to an exact science. It has your bolus information in it, and automatically draws up your insulin and gives it to you. Just a five second wave; that’s all it takes. I picture it like the way The Terminator’s eye worked (and the way their eyes worked in Mission Impossible 3 [which is a really, really bad movie but that’s a topic for another type of blog]). It kind of eyeballs things, figures it out and then uses the information. Cool beans. And look! someone is already thinking of it (even if it is just for Pac-Man).

Best carb counter ever?

That said, other than a smart pump with just one site that does it all (and that is coming), a cure is my only amazing tool. Although yesterday, I sprung for the ibgstar meter for Lauren. It’s tiny, it’s cool and it does some amazing things. Like create and keep a log book for her. And show this funky cool screen saver while it counts down. And prompt you to keep notes on your iPhone about your diabetes day. Oh, and make her want to check her blood sugar because it’s cool. (Magic! Pure magic!) I’ll be blogging her review of it here soon.

Magic wands would be great. But sometimes a gal just needs an interesting new tool to feel magically inspired. (Is it me or did that sound like a Lucky Charms commercial?)

Filed in: Diabetes Blog WeekInspirationinsulin penInsurance and diabetesKids Can

Comments (3)

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  1. Kim says:

    I think this calls for a letter to your Insurance Commissioner. We sent a letter to ours regarding the test strips that have to be used with the meter that talks to the pump that our insurance covers. They covered the pump, but not the test strips. Go figure? Our fabulous Commissioner came through for us and now we get the strips at the preferred rate. Why does it take a letter to get something that should be a no brainer?

  2. Arlene White says:

    Thanks for the information, ready to change phones for my teen, will look forward to your daughter’s input.

  3. Pearlsa says:

    I wish the Best carb counter contact lens were available. :-)

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