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January 17, 2005

Insurance/Costs

Question from San Carlos, California, USA:

We have Blue Cross of CA, Basic PPO Plan. Our pharmaceutical limit is $500 per family member per year. We exceeded the $500 for my daughter in the first four months. We are not limited to a set number of insulin vials per month and we didn't break or lose any vials. Test strips are also a costly concern. Are there any discussion groups that share information regarding where to purchase the least expensive insulin and supplies?

Answer:

I have a couple of suggestions. First, if you have latitude in your insurance purchasing, maybe you should reassess your insurance plan to find a plan that has a richer pharmacy benefit. If that is not an option, there is a new discount pharmacy card for people who are uninsured or have exceeded their coverage. It is being sponsored by an alliance of the large pharmaceutical companies. There will be income limits associated with the card, but a family of four is allowed an income of $60,000. I do not have much information about this program, but it will be widely promoted. The other idea is to buy your diabetes items at Costco or another similar warehouse club. Sorry that my suggestions do not provide a better solution.

DSH