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Author Topic: Insulin, Medicare - Walgreens  (Read 170 times)

Offline Grammabear

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Insulin, Medicare - Walgreens
« on: May 31, 2018, 05:28:40 PM »
Two days ago I called Walgreens and asked for a refill on my insulin Rx.  Since it is a 90 day supply it usually takes several days before they get enough vials to complete the order.  This morning I got a notice from Walgreens stating my 'insurance' denied my insulin claim.  After playing phone tag all day and researching on Medicare.gov, I learned it is probably Walgreens, not Medicare, that denied the insulin claim.

Walgreens is one of few pharmacies that advertise billing for pump insulin under part B not part D Medicare.  They advertise being able to do this but now they are denying a refill on the insulin.  I have 1/2 vial of insulin left and it appears Walgreens doesn't care to do business any longer with me.  There was no advance notice of this new policy change nor any chance to call my doctor and ask for a new referral.  The weekend is coming up and of course no way to contact said doctor.  I do not relish the thought of returning to multiple daily injections especially not using WalMart Humulin R and Levemir.
Type 1, April 2003
Dexcom CGM Sep 2007
Tslim pump Oct 2015
A1C 6.5% - March 2018
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  ~Maya Angelou

Offline bigskygal

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Re: Insulin, Medicare - Walgreens
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 05:50:13 PM »
Wow Grammabear! I can't like your post for obvious reasons. I hope you can find a work around for this.
grammaB
T-2 dx 2/2012 FBG 243 A1c 9.5%
6/2012 A1c 5.7%  In the 4% A1c club since July 2013. 12-2016 A1c 5.1%. 6-2018 A1c 5.3%.
No meds since 3/2015, diet controlled.  Minimal exercise.

Online Shanny

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Re: Insulin, Medicare - Walgreens
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 06:45:06 PM »
This makes my blood boil! And not just any weekend . . . a LONG weekend! Methinks corporations are getting just a little high-handed, but I have no answers for what we can do about it, except boycott, and right now that takes too long.

Offline Grammabear

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Re: Insulin, Medicare - Walgreens
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 07:00:45 PM »
This makes my blood boil! And not just any weekend . . . a LONG weekend! Methinks corporations are getting just a little high-handed, but I have no answers for what we can do about it, except boycott, and right now that takes too long.

Someone told me to call one of the 3 local TV stations and give them my information about being denied insulin through my insurance.  I'm thinking that it is not Medicare that denied it but instead is Walgreens. Their bottom line is money and they get less money for billing under part B than they do under part D or for that matter under good old fashioned 'hard cash money'.
Type 1, April 2003
Dexcom CGM Sep 2007
Tslim pump Oct 2015
A1C 6.5% - March 2018
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  ~Maya Angelou

Offline bigskygal

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Re: Insulin, Medicare - Walgreens
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 08:00:19 PM »
Do what you have to do Grammabear! Shine the light on the problem! This really sux!









grammaB
T-2 dx 2/2012 FBG 243 A1c 9.5%
6/2012 A1c 5.7%  In the 4% A1c club since July 2013. 12-2016 A1c 5.1%. 6-2018 A1c 5.3%.
No meds since 3/2015, diet controlled.  Minimal exercise.

Offline Tamagno

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Re: Insulin, Medicare - Walgreens
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2018, 01:36:45 AM »
Grammabear, I recently had a similar problem with my commercial insurer who decided on their own to reduce my insulin ‘script.

Okay, so here’s what I did, having no recourse via insurance or Medicare:

I’ve got quite a few insulin pens for emergencies and have been refilling my insulin bottles with them.

To do that, you can’t just just inject the bottle through the top as it’s air tight. If you take just the needle from one of your T-Slim reservoir sets, insert it one side of the insulin’s top so air can escape. After that, it’s fairly easy to inject insulin from the pen into the bottle.

I tried injecting directly into my pump reservoir from the pen, but found it often displaced too much air and leaked out. Besides which the “units” indicated on pens don’t seem the same as those on a needle and it took about three maximum pen injections to adequately fill the T-Slim reservoir if I could get it to work.

It’s surprised me to discover how little insulin the pens hold. An entire pen doesn’t begin to refill a single insulin vial.

Also, be sure to remove the air relieving needle from the insulin bottle after use so you don’t get germs in the insulin. Obviously, you’ll have to take extra care to use alcohol wipes all along the way to avoid contamination.

The other thing is that I suspect the insulin stopper will eventually get too porous to constantly reuse, so you’ll want to be careful of that as well.

Doubtless this little procedure is very, very forbidden, but it does work and saves insulin while avoiding MDIs!

Meanwhile, I still haven’t figured out how to get around the insurance problems but am hoping I’ll get enough ahead of the refill curve that I’ll be okay. I’ll be asking my endo about it when I see him and will let you know how it gets resolved. He seems very resourceful with these problems.

PM me if you’ve got questions...



Offline Grammabear

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Re: Insulin, Medicare - Walgreens
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2018, 05:35:45 PM »
Tamagno - Your method of filling from the insulin pen sounds fabulous except that the only thing I have is syringe and vial.  I have a vial of Levemir which does me no good if I don't have Novolog too.  I am very sad but I think I am going to be forced to buy Novolin R from WalMart.  I hated NPH when I was on it back in 2003 but if it keeps me from going dka then I have to do it.
Type 1, April 2003
Dexcom CGM Sep 2007
Tslim pump Oct 2015
A1C 6.5% - March 2018
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  ~Maya Angelou

Offline Tamagno

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Re: Insulin, Medicare - Walgreens
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2018, 01:09:41 AM »
I’m sorry, Grammabear, somehow I thought you had pens on hand.

Paying out-of pocket for insulin is going to be pricy. Any chance you could just transfer that ‘script to a pharmacy that would fill it?

Offline Grammabear

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Re: Insulin, Medicare - Walgreens
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2018, 06:56:22 AM »
The only trouble with transferring the script is that I would then be required to pay regular cost.  Walgreens is the only pharmacy that is willing to bill under part B.  The entire 90 day supply for 9 vials of insulin is close to $3000.  I sent a message through my patient portal to my doctor who wrote the original script.  I asked her to send a script to a pharmacy in a nearby town for a single vial, but she never answered my message.  I don't know if she didn't see the message or has it in her pile of "things-to-do" and maybe will get around to it sometime weeks from now.
Type 1, April 2003
Dexcom CGM Sep 2007
Tslim pump Oct 2015
A1C 6.5% - March 2018
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  ~Maya Angelou

Offline Tamagno

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Re: Insulin, Medicare - Walgreens
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2018, 01:31:03 AM »
Sounds like a good time for a new prescriber! If you’ve got a Costco around, it might also be worth checking their prices, but of course somehow there’s no generic insulin...

Offline Grammabear

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Re: Insulin, Medicare - Walgreens
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2018, 06:43:40 AM »
Sounds like a good time for a new prescriber! If you’ve got a Costco around, it might also be worth checking their prices, but of course somehow there’s no generic insulin...

As far as I know, there is no Costco around and Walgreens seems to be the only pharmacy willing to bill under part B.  In our town or the larger town nearby, there are only 3 major pharmacy stores and Walgreens is the only one billing under part B.  Believe me if there was another pharmacy willing to bill for Medicare, I would have been gone last year!
Type 1, April 2003
Dexcom CGM Sep 2007
Tslim pump Oct 2015
A1C 6.5% - March 2018
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  ~Maya Angelou