have you ever been tested for diabetes?

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My work decided to switch our insurance companies in July. I can’t shouldn’t complain too much, but I will anyways. With my previous insurance company, my Durable Medical Equipment (so, most of my diabetes supplies) was covered at 100%. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!! Now I’m paying 20% out of pocket for everything (with higher co-pays for scripts). I know, I know. I’m happy for the time I had with 100% coverage, I’m super happy I still have insurance, and I’m so lucky that my employer pays my insurance premiums.

With this new insurance company, there is some sort of convoluted way that I am able to get my deductible waved for my diabetes supplies. That’s a plus! The first thing I had to do to make this happen was have a bio metric screening — I fasted and they tested all of my vitals, cholesterol, BMI, and yes, blood sugar. I was 150 mg/dl at the time of the test. And there was no spot for the CNA who was performing the test to write down that I already know I have type one diabetes.

So yesterday, I get a call from my insurance company. The lady wanted to enroll me in a “Condition Care Program” to help me understand my condition (and also, I think, a step in getting my deductible waved). But then, she asked me if I’d ever been tested for diabetes. Poor, innocent lady (to have been talking to a sarcastic PWD like me) – but I couldn’t help but laugh at her. I was then asked questions such as: Have you experienced symptoms of low blood sugar in the past week? (Yes.) Have you experienced symptoms of high blood sugar in the past week? (Yes.) Oh, wow, OK — do you normally experience both multiple times in a week, or has this been a stressful week? (Feel sugar creeping up out of frustration. No ma’am, I have type one diabetes, my blood sugars are never just 80-120). Do you follow a diabetic diet? (Ma’am, I don’t know what that is. Apparently it’s when you don’t eat white food or many carbs. Hmm.)

Why do I get so frustrated with things like this? The people I talked to don’t seem to understand diabetes at all. Some of their questions seem absolutely absurd, but I’m sure they’re meant to figure out how individuals deal with diabetes/what they know about their condition/what kind of assistance they might benefit from. But I can’t ever see myself willingly talking to one of these nurses in the future, I guess because I already have a diabetes care team that I love. Who knows, though. I hope I’m wrong. I hope that I utilize this possibly amazing tool to its fullest extent and my a1c drops a half point. I’ll need to convince them first, though, that it’s not that weird to feel both high *and* low in one week.

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About Carlyn

I am a friend, wife, daughter, sister, dog-mother and self-proclaimed 'blogger' who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1997 at the age of 10. I live in Durham, North Carolina with my husband and two (wild) hound dogs. We make the best of life by trying our hardest to take one day at a time, one unit at a time. You can contact me via e-mail at oneunitatatime@gmail.com!

12 responses »

  1. I feel your pain. I am enrolled in the chronic conditions program my insurance company has which covers all of my diabetes supplies (including alcohol wipes and Tegaderm FTW!) at 100%. Therefore every 90 days I have to talk to an RN by phone who asks all kind of silly questions that make a PWDs blood sugar rise faster than a balloon filled with hydrogen (poor simile but you get my drift.) Yes, it’s annoying and makes us feel like we’re being talked down to when we are the ones in fact who have the knowledge to manage OUR OWN diabetes. But it’s a small tradeoff for a fantastic benefit. Although even I have to be reminded of that sometimes 🙂

    • 100 percent?! Gahhh I miss that. Wish they would do it for me too! Definitely an incentive to manage my ‘condition’ — not having to struggle to pay to have enough supplies around!

  2. She was probably following a scripted checklist. Insurance drones are CDEs or MDs, so they probably wouldn’t be able to comprehend our symptoms anyway. (Gosh, I’d wonder what they would have said if you tested 5-10 times a day…)

  3. One year through my insurance, I subscribed to have a “diabetes condition care” nurse call me periodically so that I could get a free $200 in a health incentive account or whatever. The questions she asked were absolutely ridiculous, and ended up not being worth the 15-20 minute phone calls that inevitably happened. They were supposed to be there also for me to call 24/7and get support. At one point, I called with a question about a certain medication I was taking, and asked could it be affecting my blood sugars? The nurse’s answer? “You’ll need to talk to your doctor about that.” Worthless. So I canceled the “service.”

    • Yep they gave me a 24/7 helpline. I think I’ll call it just to see if they’re helpful 🙂 Haha. I would say that’s grounds to cancel the service, ridiculous.

  4. My ex’s insurance is similar and it is so great to get everything 100% free for my son. And I don’t have to handle the phone calls since it is his insurance. 🙂

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