Monday, July 8, 2013

The Roller Coaster. Again.

About a year ago, Jen had her final doctor's appointment before being kicked off Medicaid, because she was turning 19. (Now, in less than two weeks she will be 20!)

She has spent the past year uninsured, because she can't find a job in this tiny, rinky-dink town. Yes, she did have a part-time job for a few months, until she was fired because she wouldn't work on the Sabbath (Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Genesis 2:1-3. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20:8-11.). That job did not offer insurance, nor would it have been affordable to her, on what little she was earning.

At that doctor's appointment approximately a year ago, we asked the medical care provider what options, what assistance, there might be for Jen to be able to get her insulin and other diabetes supplies.

Well, she gave us information for applying to an assistance program. Jen filled out the application, sent in the $15.00 processing fee, then waited, for months, and months, and months. In January, she received a letter stating the Lantus (long-acting insulin) would be sent to the doctor's office shortly, and she'd be able to pick it up there. So, we waited some more.

She applied through another program for Novolog (fast acting insulin), and has never heard back from them.

In the mean time, how was she to be getting the insulin she needed? Not to mention pen needles/syringes, test strips, lancets?

Fortunately, an online friend sent us a box with test strips, syringes, and lancets. I think my father gave her some syringes.

As for insulin, she has spent the past 9 months or more basically going on samples of insulin the doctor's office might just happen to have on hand. Talk about stressful! She never knows if, when she actually needs more insulin, they will have some on hand!

And it stresses me, because often (too often) she waits until she has maybe only 2 or 3 doses left on hand!

Three or four weeks ago, when she went in to the doctor's office to see if the had any samples available, they informed her that before she could ask for more samples, she'd have to make a doctor's appointment, and have an A1C done, and have a new prescription written up.

If you've been a regular reader of my blog, you may remember that I went about 2 months or so without receiving any child support. So I had no money on hand to be able to pay for her doctor's visit. Hubby's checks are always stretched to the limit, so there was no way he could help out, either. So as soon as I finally received some money, we immediately made an appointment for her.

We will not share what her A1C was! So, don't even ask! ;-) But I guess her medical care provider finally realized how hard the past year had been, as far as Jen being able to get her insulin and supplies.

So, this year, she told us what we need to do is go straight to the company, to request free medication...instead of going through a prescription assistance program. You see, going through an assistance program, you have to pay something (even though it may seem minimal to most people). But going straight to the drug company, you should be able to receive the medication for free.

One question I have is: Why didn't she tell us this a year ago, when Jen and I had specifically asked what programs, assistance, or resources were available for Jen in her situation.

She told us to go to the website, find the application and fill it out. When we went to the website for Lantus, we found that the medical care provider has to fill out the application, not the patient. So we had to call back to the doctor's office to tell her that.

Finally, today, the application for Lantus, as well as one for Novolog, are on their way.

But this morning Jen used her last dose of Lantus (or maybe it was Lavamir this time, which is also a long-acting insulin, but is not as effective for Jen as Lantus is). So off we went to the doctor's office, to see if they had samples, as well as pick up the paperwork to send in for her insulin.

This time, they did not have any samples. This time, the medical care provider had to write up a prescription. This time we were going to have to "bite the bullet" and pay the mega-bucks to buy one vial of insulin (which will last only about 2 weeks).

We checked the cost at Fred's here in town. Then I got on the phone and called Walgreens, Winn Dixie, and WalMart in Zachary, Louisiana, and Walgreens, CVS, and WalMart in McComb, to compare prices. We also went to the other pharmacy here in town. Prices ranged from $164.00 at the Walgreens in Zachary, to $200.00 at Fred's here in town. The other pharmacy here cost $186.00.

By this time, it was after 3:00 in the afternoon. Neither Tim nor I wanted to drive the 30+ miles to Zachary. And with the cost of gas, we might only save about $10-15, anyway!

Now I don't know if I'll be able to buy groceries for the next week or so! <rolls eyes>

The point I want to make, if you find yourself without insurance (like all four adults in this household are), tell your medical care provider that you need for them to check in to the possibility of getting your medication for free from the drug company. I think in most cases, the medical provider has to be the one to initiate the application process, not the patient.

Second, if you do need to purchase medication, shop around!

And now I have a request: would you please pray with us that the process with the Lantus will be expedited, so she will have her first 3-month supply on hand before this vial of insulin is all gone? We would appreciate your prayers extremely.

Thank you very much.

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