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January 8, 2010

Daily Care, Insurance/Costs

Question from Macomb, Michigan, USA:

My insurance company has recently stopped covering my daughter's test strips for the Freestyle Flash meter. The reason that Blue Care Network of Michigan stopped coverage was due to a FDA Health Notification in August 2009 regarding false readings when using the GDH-PQQ glucose test strips in combination with certain therapeutic and non-glucose sugars. My daughter's pediatric endocrinologist and I feel that she is not at risk. Apparently, the FDA is basing this on 13 deaths since 1997 while the patients were staying at healthcare facilities and receiving treatment for failing kidneys. Since I could not find anything on your web site, I was wondering what your views are on this situation. Of course, I am filing a grievance with BCN since we have never experienced nor do we "fit" into the category for which they are discontinuing coverage of Freestyle products. Interestingly, the BCBS will still cover the Freestyle products.


Seems like more insurance company stupidity in my humble opinion. Filing an appeal with your insurance company is reasonable, but it may force you to spend a lot of time arguing about such nonsense. We have not had any clinical problems with FreeStyle strips or meters either. But, if you do not want to waste a lot of time with such insurance company appeals, it may be easier just to switch to an alternative meter system. In some parts of the U.S., there are preferred meter and strip companies which are covered by one or another insurance company. There is no medical reason usually for such decisions, only discounts that the insurance companies have prearranged with the meter companies and/or suppliers that saves them money.