Monday, March 2, 2015

Dear Health Insurance Companies: I Wish For A Lot - And I Demand Even More.

This post was based on a recent conversation I had with friend. We can wish all we want, but we also have "to do." We gotta make the listen. We must demand, we must "do," and we must become the change we want - In our lives and our lives with diabetes~
Dear Health Insurance Companies: 
I wish I knew what my diabetes required tomorrow - I really, truly do, because it would make my life so much easier in so many ways. 
I wish I had a crystal ball that would accurately tell me exactly how much insulin my body will need, 30 days, 90 days and 365 days a year down to 1/5 unit - but I don’t know, because my diabetes requirements are never the same from one day to the next.
That doesn’t make me non-compliant - that makes me a person living with diabetes - And in my case, type 1 diabetes.

I wish I knew exactly how many times I MUST test my blood sugar everyday for the next 365 days. In my head I'm envisioning a magical 2015 calendar for me to that details and breaks down all my glucose numbers advance, including the whys and hows. 
How many low blood sugars; high blood sugars, sick days, exercise days, stress filled days and everything in between.
Now lets take that magical and mystical calendar a step further so that it can accurately predict in advance and breakdown my daily/weekly/room glucose tests for (and error messages,) including and the approximate date those days will occur, for ever single calendar year. 
That would be GREAT - Then I could give you those numbers well advance!
But magical calendars don't exist and that's now how diabetes works.

EVERY day is different. 

And I’d love to know in advance an approximate number of "error messages" that will flash on my meter/sensor screen in the next 12 months so we can hash out it out accordingly and before hand re: supplies and durable medical equipment coverage.
I wish with all my heart (and infusion site real estate,) that I could properly predict if infusion site will actually subcutaneously suck in all the insulin my body requires, before I stick the 1 inch steel needle - before I waste a precious infusion site on a dead-spot that I cannot reuse.

I wish I had an endless supply of money and time when it comes my diabetes supplies, wants verses needs. 
It's frightening and maddening all rolled into one that the people who decide what diabetes supplies will or won’t be covered, and have, for the most part - no understanding of what an infusion site does or doesn’t do, and that a 90 day supply is anything but, when it comes to doorknobs, dead spots, and margins for error. 

And that a person's one month's supply of insulin requirements  does indeed change, daily and monthly, because our diabetes requirements change every day. 
It's infuriating that there's no wiggle room at all when it comes to how much insulin insurance companies will actually pay for on a monthly basis - don't even get me started on covering only 50% of the cost of my monthly insulin because insulin is only available for purchases as a name brand instead of generic! 
Insulin's also the only medication, name brand or otherwise that keeps me alive!

I wish health insurance companies would take into consideration that every damn day my body and my diabetes requires different amounts of insulin  - just like those with fully functioning pancreases. 
I wish insurance company would take into consideration that at least 22 things on a daily basis contribute to my blood sugars - things like, but not limited to; stress, illness, exercise, caffeine, my period, and everything else in between. 
That for just one day, the folks at my insurance company could experience what a roller-coaster of blood sugar feels like and requires.Pricking their fingers, counting carbs and injecting incessantly in order to get handle on a ride that no one wants to go on. 
I wish they would realize that Murphy’s Law applies to people with diabetes, a.k.a., the magnet like attraction of tile floors to insulin vials - and usually a few days before we are able to renew are prescription without paying dearly.

I wish health insurance companies would not only understand & acknowledge the mental side of living with a chronic illness, as well as the physical and medical requirements - but would cover the mental and the physical without having to fight.

I wish that the people who implement changes re: my healthcare and yours, and who have the power to approve/deny our diabetes medications and technology, would not only understood and acknowledge that managing diabetes and every chronic illness is difficult; never ending and constant, but would actually approve those medicines and technologies that allow us to maintain our physical and mental health. 

I can wish all I want, but I'm down with wishing - I'm tired of wishing. I'm all about demanding and doing. So are all the Diabetes/Patient Advocates who pay your premiums.

WE won't stop advocating for our rights and our coverage and we won’t stop demanding- because our very health and wellbeing requires that we do. 
We will continue to use our collective powers - Our voices, posts/vlogs, our tenacity, the power of Social Media online and in real life to empower others and make changes. 

Being patients has taught us it's to never give up; to speak up, to listen and learn from one another and work together - because our current and future health depends on it. 

Kelly Kunik

PWD, Diabetes Advocate


StephenS said...

I will also add: We won't stop advocating for the best technology to help us manage our diabetes, and then we will move right on to you to ensure that everyone with diabetes gets it covered. Because being healthy will always be more important than profit.

Great post.

Laddie Lindahl said...

I have been lucky to have always had good insurance through my years with diabetes and there is no doubt that I am healthier as a result. Two years always from Medicare I am starting to worry about access to needed supplies and medications. Of course CGMS is a big issue, but I also know two women who ran out of pump supplies this winter because the approved Medicare supplier delayed filling their order.

Great post.