So when I went to the pharmacy with prescriptions for Lantus, Humalog, syringes, test strips, and so on, I got the shock of my life. The total came to almost $1200.00 for just one month’s worth of supplies. I swallowed hard and got out my credit card, thinking, “This is going to bankrupt me.” And, of course, my own insurance policy through my company wouldn’t allow me to switch him to my policy until the policy-year ended — which was ten months away.
I did a lot of research with help from the wonderful people at our pharmacy and was able to bring costs down using discount cards from the drug companies, but it wasn’t enough. For 10 months, the credit card balances climbed. When finally I was able to get him onto my insurance policy, it was a huge relief — but I was always aware that this was simply a matter of geographical good fortune. I live in Maine, one of very few states to make it illegal to refuse an insurance policy on the basis of a pre-existing condition like diabetes (and even then, the individual must have been previously insured for 12 months to qualify). In almost any other state, I’d have been unable to move him to my policy. I wondered then, and I continue to wonder now, how many families struggle to make ends meet because they had no insurance or lost their coverage and have to pay for this incredibly expensive disease out of pocket. If I’m still struggling to pay down my huge debt even after 2 years of comprehensive insurance coverage, it must be all but impossible for others who don’t have it. And, of course, I can only insure my son for the first 2 decades or so of his life. He’ll have diabetes forever. What does he do when he has to get his own insurance?
I hope that when he’s 26, the answer will be that he’ll get insurance from your organization. I can’t see any other way it will work—even with the new healthcare law, insurers have no financial incentive to cover diabetes, and they’ll find a way not to. People with diabetes are going to have no choice but to take matters into their own hands, and I’m encouraged that you’ve made this first step in that direction. Thanks!