Just because I can doesn’t mean I can

Two weeks ago I asked for advice for my test strip decision. Later that day after a “quick” call to my insurance company, I thought I had it all figured out. You would think I’d learn.

My prescription coverage has an option to check the eligibility for a medication online and when I did it said the “iBGStar System” was covered. To determine the copay I had to enter how often I would use the “medication.” I entered that I would use it 8-10 times per day, and the system said that it was beyond the allowable cost limit. It seemed odd that covered strips would be too expensive so I wondered if “System” meant the meter and not the strips. 8-10 iBGStars a day would be rather expensive!

I really don’t think the first guy I spoke to had any idea what he was doing. Why? Because he right before he called his supervisor he says, “that meter is for cholesterol right.”

His supervisor told me that it appeared to be covered. When I asked about the copay he put me on hold. When he got back on the phone I found out that ANY TEST STRIP on my prescription plan is covered at the same copay – $0.

iBGStar it is.

My endocrinologist’s office always takes a little extra time to fill prescriptions so I let them know that I was going out of town (to Kim, Jess, and TCOYD Des Moines). I made my first attempt to pick up the prescription that Wednesday (two weeks ago today).

This is what I got.

Not quite the whole prescription – more like 5 days worth. The clerk said they would have to order the rest, which was not ALL that surprising considering the newness of the brand.

I returned from my wonderfully refreshing trip and forgot for a little while to pick up the balance. I finally made it back to the pharmacy last Wednesday. The test strips were not there. I was told to give it a little more time (on day 7 of a 5 day fill).

Tried again on Sunday (day 11). Still no strips. When it was looked it up in the system it appeared that the balance of the order had never been processed. I was promised that the order was then submitted on the spot. I would receive a phone call when the balance arrived.

I was a bit surprised then when my phone rang an hour later. I was told that the medication I was trying to fill had either been discontinued or was otherwise not carried in the store. I had never heard that before so I asked what I was supposed to do. She didn’t know. So helpful.

Also this. Not helpful (how was I supposed to share my contact info. No follow = no DM. You want me to share my address and phone number with all of Twitter? Social media fail).

It took six more phone calls on Monday morning to get it all resolved. My prescription coverage and the pharmacy I was using are part of the same corporation. The pharmacy “does not stock the iBGStar strips. You have to get them from the manufacturer or a different pharmacy who uses a different supplier.”

As I tried to do as they suggested, I discovered that the prescription was showing as processed. No one else could fill it because it was showing that it already had been filled. I finally reached the mail order service of the exact same corporation.

The mail order services carries the iBGStar strips and could fill the balance of my prescription, but it will take up to 10 days to process. The prescription was moved to the mail order service while I was on the phone, but it will take 10 MORE days to process. What is there left to process?!

A final issue in this whole battle that has me stumped. With this pharmaceutical corporationĀ in Florida, if you choose next day service for your prescription, your medication will arrive from their facility in Orlando. The mail order service – based in Orlando.

I have an iBGStar, I have prescription coverage for iBGStar test strips with a $0 copay. Fourteen days after starting this process I still don’t have my test strips.

Moral of the story: Just because I CAN get the test strips I want doesn’t mean I actually CAN get the test strips I want.


  • I have never heard anything so ridiculous in my life!!! It makes absolutely no sense.
    Why is it that the what seems the simplest, can sometimes become the most complicated!
    Hoping it all works out and you get your test strips very soon.

  • I’ve had some super crazy things like this over the years too (health insurance lost contract with pharmacy and new pharmacy could only transfer one prescription every 24 hours. hmmm). Really hope this gets resolved soon & I share your frustration!

  • It’s so frustrating when things like this happen. It’s like we are at the mercy or the insurance companies. Or pharmacies. Not cool. I hope you get this all straightened out very soon.

    Un-diabetes related but my mother is currently taking a cholesterol medication. Her little pharmacy closed so she went to a new little pharmacy to refill her prescriptions. She was told that instead of getting a 30 day supply of 10mg meds, she has to get a 15 day supply of 20mg that will be cut in half for her. I have never heard anything so idiotic before! I fear that insurance and pharmacy policies will only get worse.

  • I think we need a “You Can Do This” campaign for pharmacists and insurance companies. Whenever they say they CAN’T fill a prescription, insist that they can. If they still refuse, slingshot a YCDT bracelet between their eyes.

  • Sara, sorry to hear about your absolutely frustrating situation. If your prescription plan went back and looked at this situation, I think they would realize that they need to find some efficiencies in their business processes. Between the website development and all the support staff to (try to) help you, they probably lost money on this transaction. Which still hasn’t concluded to the satisfaction of the customer. Why don’t they realize that it would be cheaper (and nicer) to take care of what you need when you need it?

    Hope you get your test strips soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: