Tag Archives: Insurance coverage

The Fears of Being Diabetic

Why the fears of being diabetic? Why not? I didn’t call them phobias, they are not debilitating. A good diabetic will acknowledge the risks and prepare for them. Risks in my opinion are simply controlled fears. Will I run out of insulin today or drop the bottle and break it? Past incidents have led me to be very careful of where I set it when it is out of the case, aka been there done that. There are so many of them I can’t possibly bring up and talk about them all. The whole point to this post is letting people know that there are many risks to being a diabetic and not everyone knows them or wants to talk about them.

By knowing the risks you can either avoid them or minimize the chances of them happening. My big fear is having a low. Its not as bad with the CGM (that leads to another fear all diabetics have) since it lets me know where I’m at with my blood sugar and most of all which direction it is going. I can avoid the lows by knowing they are coming before they get too bad. I carry Skittles in my pocket so when I know I’m going somewhere I will not have easy access to snacks. Cutting back on exercise is never an option for me. I was not raised that way and can’t get past wanting to give 100% at whatever I do, at home or at work.

My 40+ years of dealing with diabetic issues have led me with a few near phobias with the lows being at the top of that list. I have been told what I am like when my sugar gets low and that scares the hell out of me more than anything else. I become a very combative, aggressive person. People who know me can tell you how calm and passive I am normally but lower my blood sugar and I become a different person. When I was 12 I threw a nurse across our living room, I’ve knocked orange juice out my mom’s hand so many times I lost count, and I woke up with 8 EMT/firefighters holding me down on my bed to get an IV started. At work I have told them to never try to force me to eat or drink anything. Just call the EMTs and let them handle it. The fear is hurting someone I care about. My old doctor hated the fact I run my sugars so high to avoid it.

Another fear that I alluded to earlier is how I am going to pay for all the meds and supplies I need to stay alive. It is sad to say insulin is not the only med with this issue but it is the one I am most familiar with. The cost of the bottles of insulin have gone from $115 about 10 years ago to $295 currently. That is also with the insurance company discount. Buying it without insurance I’ve heard is more like $380 a bottle. The CGM is also a big cost. Each month with insurance I pay about $120 for the sensors. Without insurance they are about $450 each month. They are only meant to stay on for one week but to save money I will leave them on as long as I can, 3 weeks at times if the adhesive stays put. The transmitters are another thing. I pay about $250 for one transmitter that last only 3 months, $1,000 a year with insurance. Without insurance, I would ben  paying $1000 each for them, $4,000. What happens if I loose my insurance? It keeps me up during the day, I work nights so that is my sleep time.

Up comes another fear/risk, loosing my job. I hate to break it to those who feel the ADA protects them but I have been in situations where employers have been, lets just say creative, in forcing me to leave. I don’t think I’m a bad employee. I show up for work on time 99% of the time, I don’t call in sick very often, I do what I am asked to do whether it is a part of my “job” or not, I get along with coworkers well, and am willing to work overtime when needed. I’m not going to get into the politics of it but “right to work” states also allow an employers to let you go without a reason. They will not use the word diabetic in any letter or phone call since that involves the ADA. They can just give any excuse and let you go, if they respond in the first place. As far as getting hired, that is another nightmare all together. The easiest form letter to use is “we have gone with another more qualified applicant” one. Have they? I have wondered how many times they hear about previous situations of low issues and decide to not hire over it. I’ve read the fine print at the tale end of the applications. You give permission for the company to run background checks on you which includes credit, criminal, and employment. You give them access to your employee files from former employers.

An everyday fear/risk is not calculating insulin does correctly. Did I count the carbs right? Did I get the right ratio? Did I do the math right? I’m not perfect. I’ve screwed this up more than just once in 40 years. Don’t panic and make the correction. Eat more if you go low. Take a bolus if you go high. This one is really easy to manage. Its more annoying than anything else.

Fear is a constant companion for a diabetic. One you need to become friends with instead of being paralyzed by it. I could  die by walking out of my house and down the street today, but I’m still going to do it. I could screw up any of the diabetic things I’ll do today but I’m still going to do them. As I said it in past blogs, I’m 9 years past my expiration date so in my mind I’m not loosing anything if I died today. I can hear the gasps from here. It’s life. I’m going to die, everyone will die. Its just when will I bite the big one. I realize the issues of being a diabetic each day and I work with those obstacles. I control them and move on. Enough said.

My savior, the ACA

I know this is a hot topic for many people. I had a guy I know stop by while I was watering my new grass the other night. He and I got into it about the Affordable Care Act. I know it is broke and needs to be fixed but repealing it altogether is not the answer. Without this law removing the pre-existing condition clauses in most private insurance policies and leveling the cost for those of us who truely need it, life would be much harder to live.

My thought is we should have a national health plan like Canada or England or France or even Cuba has a national plan. I looked it up and the term 1st, 2nd, and 3rd world country is no longer used. Cuba is ranked 51st out of 177 countries. It is more 2nd world than 1st world and yet they can pull off a national health system. Why can’t we?

When I started a job recently, I was surprised to find out they had a pre-existing clause in the health insurance for the first year. Lucky I was making $400 a month more then than now. Still don’t knwo how that works, I make about $2 an hor more now than then but it is what it is. Point is most of my diabetic meds and doctors appointments for anyting diabetes was not covered.

Here is another worry about that protection being removed. I hurt my foot the last month of that clause and went to see the doctor. His first words were that I had broken it with a Lis Franc fracture. This is a rare dislocation fracture where you don’t have actually break the bone. The joint between your toe bones in the upper part of your foot seperate. He also claimed it was a diabetic issue. We are more likely to get these is what I gathered.

Awesome! They did high resolution X-rays, Cat scans, and then an MRI to find any evidence of the damage. None was ever found but the damage to my pocket book was done already. One of the 2 doctors who I had seen wrote it was diabetic related in their report to the insurance company. I was stuck with $5000 in tests for an injury they could not find or document and I got left with the aftermath.

I fought by contacting teh insurance company but they said as long as the doctor had wrote it into the repoprt there was nothing they could do. I had to talk to the doctor and get him to change his report. I never asked outright but he always referred to it as a diabetic complication. I never found anything about diabetics being more likey to get this break than a normal person.

It sounded more like a preformance issue to me. Horse riders get this when they fall off a horse and get their foot stuck in the stirrup forcing the foot to flex backward, hard. It also happens to football players who plant their foot hard while turning on the field. Kind of like turf toe.

This is the scary part, going farther with this, if you have ever been to a doctor and had a high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you now have a pre-existing condition. You might not have any issue currently from it but if you loose a kidney later it is because of your high blood pressure. Your high cholesterol may have caused your heart attack so it is not covered either

Yes, the ACA is broke that is obvious. Ever read it? I downloaded a copy and got through about 100 pages of the 2,000 plus page law. The first thing I noticed were the numerous amendments to it. It also struck me that in the section I read, most were there to add the term individal where it read group or employer in the original bill. Why?

I heard so many times back when this was being run through congress that the GOP was trying to block it. Did they add all those extra amendments? The GOP congress has already been into this law to change who gets penalized for insurance coverage for small companies. The penalties are gettiing much bigger this year, $100 a day for each employee not covered. That’s $36,500 a year for each employee.

Even if they decide to keep the pre-existing coverage they can still get around the issue by removing the conditions from insurance coverage. Just the last week or so congress and the president worked to remove pre-natal care and other women’s medical needs from insurance coverage. Michigan had a state representative who tried to remove pre-natal care, diabetese, mental health care, and anti psychotic meds from insurance coverage. Really? You want to remove a person from the meds keeping them stable? Look it up, it’s called the Drazcowski amendment. It scared the crap out of me with all the thing he was trying to remove from coverage.

Here’s my opinion on this this, if you remove these things from coverage, lots of people will drop their coverage since it will do them no good anymore. Insurance companies will love not having to pay out so much until they realized they also are not getting as much in either. I will end up on disablity and  Medicaid when I loose a foot or my sight from my blood sugars being so out of range due to not being able to afford my meds.

Dear Mister Trump and members of congress, I need you to FIX the health care situation, not make it worse for me. A true universal health care plan such as Canada or France’s plans would also help out employers. They will no longer have to shoulder the cost of these insurance plans. That means more money for adding employees or maybe going back to using more full time employees instead of cutting back  to more part time to avoid the insurance penalties. It depends on how the taxing is modified to cover the cost of this plan. With it being a larger inlfux of cash from a larger group of people putting in, the over all cost may actually come down.