FUDiabetes

Changes, they are a comin' (Jan 2020)

Received letters today from CVS. It seems our coverage is changing and, effective January 1st, 2020, we are no longer going to be covered for Lantus; instead, we’re being switched to Levemir. I have read some older threads on Levemir and I don’t think it’ll be an issue. Currently, we don’t even use the Lantus we receive anyway since we use Novolog in his PODs…the Lantus is just back up and we have a ton stored currently.

The transition that’s bothering me more is that it seems our Contour Next one and test strips are also no longer going to be covered. We are being requested to switch to Accu check meter/strips. The letter indicates we can request authorization from the Endo to continue using the Contour system and, if authorized/approved by the insurance, it could be covered.

My question is - do you think any reasons I submit would be enough to have it approved? If not, I won’t even waste my time putting in the request. My reasons that I like the contour next one included:

  • Small and compact
    • Liam is able to use it to check his own bgs because it’s small enough that he can hold it.
    • It doesn’t add a lot of extra weight to his diabetes pack he carries with him
  • Requires a small amount of blood
  • Most accurate meter on the market

In your opinions, would any of these reasons convince an insurance to continue being authorized to use it?

Which accu check meter do you think is the best (considerations that are most important to me include accuracy, size, smallest blood drop possible).

Thanks!

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@ClaudnDaye
I use the Accu-Chek Aviva and have forever, meaning mine is not the newest. But, the Accu-Chek always makes the top of the lists of most accurate meters. It uses a small amount of blood but I don’t know how it compares to the one you use. I’m happy with it.

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If we have to switch to the accu-check, we’ll definitely be going with the Aviva as I’ve read other postings that people prefer this meter from accu-check. Thanks for this information! I wish the other makers of BG meters would make small versions like the contour next one, for those desiring a smaller, more compact meter. Most of the others are so much bigger and bulkier.

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@ClaudnDaye

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Yeah, I figured. That’s huge compared to the Contour Next One. And it’s probably 2.5 inches wide and an inch or so thick. The Contour next one is only like 2.5 inches long, 1 inch (or less) wide and half inch or so thick (I haven’t measured it, but it’s small). Liam loves it because he can handle it OK with his tiny hands.

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Worth an appeal. I mean, an appeal only costs you time. I would invest that in Liam. And I will help you if you need it.

Accuracy will be the best thing for you to use. In appeals, the size of a meter will not be much of a consideration for them.

Taking multiple tests with the other meter and showing the variance. Comparing the two meters side-by-side at the same time with the same drop of blood. Referencing comparisons from guys like Gary Scheiner. Stuff like that.

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Glucose meters weigh less than 100g, so I expect insurance companies to regard the weight difference between 2 meters as no more than a rounding error. Sample size won’t convince them either, because Accu Chek meters and the Contour Next One both require 0.6 microliters.

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To small hands the size and weight very much makes a difference. That may not matter to them but it does to us. But if we have to switch it will be what it is.

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Oh yes, it’s just my pessimistic expectation of an insurance company’s considerations.

I can’t help you with insurance stuff, but Accu-Chek does make an Aviva Nano meter that’s quite small. The only downside to this meter is that it uses a chip for each vial of strips, and once that vial expires, you can no longer use those strips.

The Accu-Chek Guide is also not a bad meter and is pretty compact (not as compact as the Nano)

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@ClaudnDaye Personally I would appeal on the grounds of ergonomics and usage familiarity for Liam, especially given his young age. In this group there has to be someone that can help you to create a great appeal, especially if you get a copy of the Utilization Guidelines first to tailor your appeal. I am happy to help, but I’m sure there are some great wordsmiths in this group

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I believe the Guide is a little smaller than the Aviva. Roche lists the dimensions as: 3.2" x 1.9" x 0.8". For what it’s worth, Roche claims 95% accuracy with the Guide.

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I like Levemir a lot. Overall it is similar to Lantus but it seems like taking more of it extends the window more than it lowers the blood sugars. Contour next is my favorite meter with One Touch Ultra coming in second.

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Like other say. Take the time to do it and focus on Liam’s familiarity with the meter and that it may introduce errors if he switches which is a safety concern.

With that said, I think the whole US medical insurance system is crazy and feels a lot like communism. I am glad I live in a country that values freedom where I can choose any test strip I want :laughing: …BUT if the strips I choose costs over the allowable limit I do have to pay for the difference. But at least I have the freedom to choose unlike you poor communists :laughing:

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Overall very happy with Accu check Guide, but Contour is the gold standard.

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Also, remember to check how much you are paying when you pick the strips up currently. If you are getting 100 strips for $5, then that is a great deal, we are currently paying $20 for 100 through insurance, so $30 for 100 through Amazon isn’t that far off the insurance price.

We are really lucky in this regard. If we buy the full 90 day supplies at the same time and have them enter the insulin into the system first, we always have zero co-pay. So for us it’s not about the cost but the convenience and the ease of use, small size and accuracy.

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How many strips do you actually use in a month?

At this point on the G6 our usage is probably down to a vial (50 strips) per month. I don’t even bother reordering strips every 90 days as we often have plenty on hand.

If the actual usage qty is low enough then I would tend to go with Chris’s suggestion.

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We have been going through a lot more than we used too prior to looping. Any disconnect of the cgm requires a finger sticks every 15 minutes and a manual entry into Apple health to keep loop working. He also gets stuck frequently at school. Strips are the only thing we never seem to have enough of

Or current prescription is for 900 every 90 days…so 300/mo.

We just picked up our new steps last week… As you can see, no strips surplus. Everything else we have enough surplus to hold use over for a year or two.

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I am glad that looping is helping your son, but wow that is a lot of strips to go through. That would probably be a year supply for us.

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