Category Archives: Insurance

Signing my Death Certificate

I seem to make a lot of enemies on my Twitter. I suppose after having one for as long as I have (I was part of TWTTR’s beta, all the way back in 2006!) I shouldn’t be surprised, but, I figured I was done with twitter drama back when I dealt with Tony

However, just the other evening, I misread the tweet of a Representative from Minnesota about repealing the Affordable Care Act. I mistakenly thought the Congressman was stating his support for repeal, which directly threatens my well-being with the potential loss of the pre-existing conditions clause. I retweeted the tweet, saying that he was signing my death certificate. 

Very quickly, it was pointed out to me that I misunderstood his tweet, and everything was rectified between myself and Congressman Ellison. All good there and everyone who tweeted me to tell me of my mistake were all very nice about it. 

However, the next morning I woke up to this tweet in response to mine to the Congressman. 


Basically, Bob was insinuating that me dying due to not being able to afford medicine due to the repeal was a worthy sacrifice. 

I quickly tweeted Bob, asking if he was making a joke in bad taste, and then went in to work. When I checked my phone later in the day, he hasn’t responded, and had actually DELETED the tweet he directed at me, so I decided to poke the bear. I tweeted him again, attaching a screenshot of the offending tweet. I even told him I was reminding him of how disgusting his tweet was. I followed up that tweet with this one. 


Bob didn’t respond. Instead, he blocked me.  

He chose to be a coward rather than apologize, but I expected it. Anyone who has the nerve to spew something so disgusting online and not own up to it must be a coward. And honestly, I’m not all that angry about it. People will be horrible to others on the internet because they can hide behind the relative anonymity of it all. 

And as I saw someone tweet earlier this week about the possible ACA repeal, I can’t make people care about other people. But, I can sure as hell try. 

So here we go. 


My name is Abby, and at age 22, I was diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune condition. Pre-Obamacare, I was uninsurable. By repealing the ACA with no replacement, specifically without provisions to protect those with pre-existing conditions, I could be forced to choose between life-saving medication and basic necessities like food and rent. 

It doesn’t matter if you identify with the Republican, Democrat, Wig, Green, Tea, Jedi, or any other political party. 

If you identify as a HUMAN, you should want to help your fellow humans. And leaving #the27percent of Americans with pre-existing conditions to die isn’t how you do that. 

We are vulnerable and scared. So please – think of us. Call your local Congressman. Help those who already struggle to live. 

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“Use Me On Medical Supplies!”

My insurance changed July 1. I changed to a HSA account, after weighing it out against the other traditional plan my company offered and determined the HSA would be cheaper in the long run. And when I submitted the request for my first new order on this insurance to my medical supply company, this is what I got back:

90 supply of sensors is $1215.48

g4 transmitter is $571.20

90 days of pump supplies is $433.80

12 boxes of  test strips is $284.04

 

Grand total is $2504.52 but you have a $2000 deductible so the charge will be $2000. Since you’re meeting your deductible, you have a 0% coinsurance, so your next order will be no cost to you.

Yes, I met my deductible 18 days into my new insurance plan year, on my very first order for the year. And I’ll have to meet it again in January. Because I definitely have $2000 just sitting around in an account screaming “Use me on medical supplies!” 

Sadly, those of us with chronic conditions look at insurance plans and think, “How quickly can I meet this deductible?” Because usually, the question isn’t IF we’ll hit it, but rather WHEN. 

Oh, and the kicker: the medical supply company screwed up the calculations at first and were going to charge me $1300 but it kept declining. Turns out my HSA card only lets me spend $1000 max per transaction. Because that makes a lot of sense. 

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#DBlogWeek: They Don’t Care About You

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Check out my other #DBlogWeek posts here. Learn more about #DBlogWeek here.

Today is my fourth post for #DBlogWeek. Here’s today’s topic!

Most people who live with a chronic illness end up with a lot of experience when it comes to dealing with healthcare. How would you improve or change your healthcare experience? What would you like to see happening during medical visits with your healthcare team? How about when dealing with your health insurance companies? What’s your Healthcare Wish List or Biggest Frustration? Today is the day to share it all!

I’ve discussed the insane cost of my supplies here, and I’ve also written about how Obamacare saved my life. However, I’ve mentioned a little more quietly that I was hoarding supplies all last year.

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So here’s what I’ve discovered in my short time of being type 1 and dealing with lame adult things like insurance companies.

  1. Know what your deductible is and how long it will take you to meet it. Sometimes this can take a little estimating, but it’s worth figuring up if your work/insurance offers more than one deductible level like mine does. I went for the higher premium/lower deductible plan this year because I am able to hit a $1000 deductible in 2 months time – and that made the overall year’s cost lower than the seemingly cheaper $1500 deductible plan.
  2. Never stop hounding. Your supply company is at your mercy, not the other way around. If you know it’s authorized, or you’re supposed to have your shipment on a certain day and it isn’t there (AHEM, Solara), hound them. Email them every day. Call them twice a day. Ask for supervisors. This is your LIFE on the line – and you are your own biggest advocate. They don’t care about you, so you have to do everything in your power to get what you need.
  3. Know and accept that you may have to choose a job based on insurance. This is a reality we have to face. The state of American healthcare today means that we have to do whatever we can to have the best opportunity at survival – which means never ruling out the fact that your company may change their insurance to something completely terrible (as my husband’s did this last year) and you may need to look for a new job with better insurance. Dear America, please stop sucking and revolutionize healthcare a la Australia or Canada, please!
  4. If your medical care team isn’t working for you – switch! My initial misdiagnosis led me to seek other options for care, and that ended up being in my best interest. I found a doctor who trusts my judgment and listens to what I want, and we work together to find the best treatments for me. I can’t say enough about him and I wish everyone had a doctor as great as mine!

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I hope this helps someone in some way!

Read more posts for #DBlogWeek here.

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When the Only Choice is No Choice

UnitedHealthcare reached an agreement with Medtronic to become the preferred, in-network durable medical equipment (DME) provider of insulin pumps, effective July 1, 2016. (Source)

Even if you and your doctor decide a different company’s insulin pump is right for you, you won’t be able to get it through UnitedHealthcare unless you pay out of pocket for it, because their preferred company is now Medtronic. This is kind of like how the insurance companies currently dictate the brand of meters and test strips you’re able to get.

And it’s bad news bears for those with T1D and UnitedHealthcare. 

When an insurance company dictates my therapy, they’re possibly inhibiting my quality of life. If I have to be attached to a medical device 24/7 for 4 years, I want it to be 1) something I like and 2) something that works for me. And my diabetes is not the same as others’ diabetes, and pumps are not one-size-fits-all. 

I appreciate Tandem immediately issuing a statement. Their CEO is quoted in the image below, and I couldn’t agree more. 


If this is the new direction medical insurance and healthcare is going, then it’s going to get really, REALLY bad for us. It’s not like I can very easily (if at all) choose a different insurance provider that works with the pump company I prefer! 

So what do we do?

Well, I’m making as much noise as possible on social media. And a lot of others are too. I’m tweeting with the hashtags #mypumpmychoice and #patientsoverprofits and tagging UnitedHealthcare in those tweets. I’m sending information on this change to every diabetic I know so they can make noise too. 


It may be a dull roar right now, but this is very quickly blowing up. I’m hoping for a firestorm, and for UHC to realize how asinine, degrading, and greedy their new policy is. 

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Obamacare [Sort of] Saved My Life

Tomorrow I turn 26 years old and I officially become too old to be covered under a parent’s insurance policy per Obamacare.

I’ve known it was coming for a very long time. I remember sitting in the Bigelow cafeteria at Western Michigan University at 19 years old and healthy, with my husband (who was my fiancé at the time) and watching the tv coverage of Obamacare and first hearing about the until-26 provision.


What I didn’t know at that time was that it also covered you even if you are married. I didn’t find that out until a couple days after I was diagnosed at age 22 when the doctor’s office called and told me that my dad’s insurance was going to work for my bills. Unbeknownst to me, he had kept me on his insurance. I bawled and bawled. Thank goodness he had!

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A Mazda and a Maserati

The Enlite CGM system was the reason I ended up getting the Medtronic Minimed 530G as my first insulin pump in December 2013. I really liked the idea of only having to wear one device on me at all times. And the Dexcom wasn’t compatible with the pump I really wanted, the Tandem T-Slim. So I ended up trusting my endo and went with the 530G with Enlite.

A few months after receiving my pump, I heard about Nightscout for the first time. It was a Dexcom exclusive movement in the early days. I became a lurker on the CGM in the Cloud Facebook page, waiting anxiously for the day that Nightscout would work with my Enlite. And finally at the end of 2014, I was notified that Nightscout for Enlite had been born and was testing. It took me a few months to get the supplies, but eventually, I was in the Cloud with a rig of my own!

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Vacation Prep & a Little Frustration

I’ve been slacking in the blogging department! I have a couple unfinished posts hanging out in the wings, but we’ve been busy packing and preparing for vacation next week. I’ve had several photo sessions to wrap up on top of work, church, and plenty of other activities. I’m not complaining – it’s been exhausting but I wouldn’t have my life any other way!

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The Never-Ending Story.

I got my pump in December. Because of Obamacare, I’m able to be on my dad’s insurance until I’m 26, which is awesome because my dad’s insurance is SO much better than the insurance offered through my employer. So I was easily able to meet my deductible when I got my pump.

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