My Patient Story
Congressional District: CA45
Endocrine Disease, Mental Health
Issues and Challenges
Valerie has encountered: Out of Pocket Costs, Price Transparency, Rebate Sharing, Copay Accumulators, Non-Medical Switching
I have had Type 1 diabetes for 39 years. I was diagnosed at age 13 and have seen many improvements in treating this chronic disease 24/7, 365 days/yr. Here are some real-life examples of frustrations I have experienced multiple times and it is getting worse. I was on Humalog insulin for 20+ years. My new insurance would not cover it, so I had to switch to Novolog. Unfortunately, it is not an exact exchange. Each one works slightly differently, therefore needing to adjust basal rates and timing of boluses. I read that Humalog was more expensive so I agreed - plus I cannot afford to pay out of pocket all year for insulin. Now I am on my new company's insurance plan. I went to fill my insulin and they would not cover Novolog, but they would cover the Humalog. Right now, I am in the midst of adjusting insulin rates for Humalog. Very frustrating and time-consuming. Another recent example...I have been on an insulin pump for 27 years. My most recent pump is the Omnipod. I just upgraded to the Omnipod Dash. This unit came with the Contour Next glucometer, which is new to me and supposedly one of the best. Well, my insurance will not cover the test strips for the new glucometer. I want to use the best, but insurance is not allowing me to. Now I must settle for an okay glucometer so that I can have insurance reduce the cost of how much I pay out of pocket for test strips. Finally, I use the Dexcom Sensor and with my new insurance, I cannot have a new shipment begin processing until I am on my last sensor - lasts 10 days. I rely on the sensor because I do not know when my sugar is going low most times. The 3rd party begins to process the order, which may take 5 business days and then they ship it to me which could be another 5 business days. By my calculations, I am going to have to go without a sensor for a few days and then must manually check my blood sugar 7 times a day with a meter that is not my first choice. It has been 39 years and how diabetics are treated is atrocious. Thank you for listening to my rave. I have many more examples. It is just getting worse and worse. The craziest part is that I have been so proactive recently that my diabetes health is the best it has been, but it takes a huge toll mentally.
My Motivation and Inspiration
My motivation is to help make a change for other diabetics, especially newly diagnosed diabetics. It doesn't matter if you are Type 1, Type 2, MODY, or another form of diabetes, everyone deserves the right to choose what devices they want to use to handle their chronic disease. I want big Pharma, middlemen, and politics to be removed from patient care. If I can help just 1 person have more options and better care, I have made a difference. I want to advocate for those that don't know how or what to do. Thank you! #Diabetes_Strong #PumpingSince 1993