Mail Order Rx

I know I posted a few days ago about insurance woes.. but since the drama is still relevant, and still ongoing, I have more to add about it today.

In the past, I used mail order Rx refills all the time because, well, it’s a little cheaper.  You pay for a 60 day supply, but receive a 90 day supply. With my last insurance through my former employer, I had used it a few times but there were a couple of close calls with not getting my insulin as quickly as I should have … (thankfully my dr was able to score me a vial to hold me over most of those times) and I obviously can’t take the chance of not having my life support.  So thankfully for me, around that same time, my employer implemented a policy where we could get our 90 day refills filled at a local pharmacy.  So, that on top of the fact that I didn’t have to pay for any of my diabetes supplies .. it was definitely a win/win for me.   Nine times out of ten, the local pharmacy did not have enough on hand to give me the full amount, so I would at least get a partial fill and could pick up the rest of it in the next couple of days. 

Then I lost that job, and subsequently the insurance.

So before the end of last year, when that coverage ended for me, I refilled everything.  This month I have had to send in my first set of refills on my new plan (covered on hubby’s insurance now) and have learned the hard way that I will never use their mail order Rx service again.   First, I’ll preface that their customer service team has been very nice.  But that’s where the compliments will stop from my end. :/

I mailed just two Rx’s (my most important ones at that)- my test strips and Humalog (insulin) week before last.  I called last week to check on the status and they said they couldn’t fill the test strips because it was written for more than the plan allows (side note — I wouldn’t have known this, had I not called.) Ugh.  But I test my BG 8-10 times a day lately, people.  Working really hard to reign in my numbers so I need more than just the standard 4x a day.  They told me my dr needed to send them a new pre-authorization form.  Ok.  So I called my dr’s office (thank you, Sandy!!) and they turned it right back around to them.  Did not hear an update, so I called back.  They said, “Oh yes, we did receive the pre-authorization form. Would you like us to begin processing the order?”  Uh yea…. that’s why I mailed it to you in the first place last week???

On Friday of last week, I called my dr back and asked if they had any spare vials of Humalog lying around … I was on my last one and it didn’t look like I was going to get a package on my doorstep any time soon. They said sure thing, come on by. 🙂  (Thanks again, Sandy!!)

In the meantime, my Humalog order is still showing “In Process” (aka not shipped).  So I call back on Monday of this week.  They tell me they don’t know why it hasn’t shipped yet but it will “for sure go out tonight or tomorrow.”

Ugh. I check the status this morning .. and still “In Process”.  So I call back yet again (this makes call #4 for anyone keeping score.)

Me: Yes I would like to check on my status of my insulin?  I was told by Jennifer on Monday that it would ship either Monday night, or Tuesday. And it’s not showing as shipped yet. Can you please let me know what’s going on?

Phone rep:  Let me check on that for you.  Hmmm.  What is going on with this order? Can I please put you on hold while I ask the pharmacist?  Or would you rather I call you back?

Me:  Oh, I will hold please.

Phone rep comes back: I am not sure what happened, and the pharmacist is not sure what happened.  But she has assured me she is going to process the order today and you will have it tomorrow. We will even over night it to you at no extra charge. (gee, thanks!)

Me:  Thank you.  Please do what you can to make sure this does go out.  I finished my last vial last night (put the last of it in my pump) and cannot go without my insulin. It is my life support.

Phone rep:  Yes, ma’am.  Is there anything else I can do for you?

Me:  Yes, please tell me when my test strips will ship.  I am also still running very low on those.

Phone rep:  Do we need a pre-authorization on these? (Me: No, you received that last week.)   It takes 3-5 days to process and today is Day 3, so those should ship by Friday. (Ugh.)

This is not like skipping my blood pressure meds, or something like that.  I am sure I take for granted that not everyone understands the importance of insulin to a Type 1 diabetic.  But come on ….     So from now on, I’ll pay the extra copay and get my refills at the local pharmacy.   Not going to go through this again. :/

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About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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4 Responses to Mail Order Rx

  1. I am less than thrilled that my insurance requires me to use mail order for “maintenance medications” because they really don’t care when you need it, they just get to it when they get to it. I’m sorry to hear about your multiple calls to customer service, you would think that if a regular pharmacy could fill an order in 15 minutes a mail order group with an army of people answering the phones could do it within a day or two. It’s amazing how dilligent we have to be just to get labels on vials and onto a truck!

    • Shannon says:

      Does your insurance require you to use mail order? I work in HR and have always seen it “suggested” but never required. But like I said, I won’t be doing it again. Lesson learned. :/

  2. Scott E says:

    I can get my test strips for free through my medical (not prescription) insurance if I jump through the proper hoops. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find out what those hoops are (Insurance says I can get them from Medtronic, but they say they’re not under contract to bill UHC. Then they say to call Animas, who is also on their “approved” list, but as a Medtronic pumper, I just don’t see that working. Then they say to go to Walgreens, but the pharmacy says no). So I’m stuck paying retail for the one box that proved UHC’s hoop-jumps are unachievable, and now pay a co-pay through my Rx plan for the rest. I suppose I can’t complain, it’s better than nothing, but I just hate the false promise.

  3. Makes me grateful I don’t have to go through all that!

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