11 boxes of Pods & counting!

I know this sounds crazy, but it is true! My company changed insurance carriers last June. Previously I was using Oxford & had a minimum co-pay when I would receive 3 boxes of pods every 3 months. I fought for every extra hour that I could string a pod out beyond the regular 3 day limit. In early June 2011 I received a 3 box shipment from Oxford. My company then changed insurance carriers to NYSHIP/Empire & I immediately contacted them about coverage of the pods, praying they would be covered. I was told they would be covered with NO COPAY but that the supplies would come from Liberty Medical who had a contract with NYSHIP/Empire. Well, within 2 weeks I received a shipment of FIVE (5) boxes of pods from Liberty at no cost! It gets better! Every 3 months since then I have been getting 5 more boxes of pods! I now have 11 boxes of pods in my closet! Im in pod heaven. lol. When a pod goes bad I dont even bother to call Insulet to ask for a replacemnet. Yikes. This is NUTS!

I also had a big stash. I am drawing it down now because smaller pods are on the horizon. I don't want to use bigger pods when smaller pods are available.

oooh, i am so jealous! at 24 weeks pregnant, my health insurance decided to no longer cover my pods and wants me to switch pumps asap. :( I've got a few left and am desperately trying to get them to cover me, at least through the rest of the pregnancy.

I'm not comfortable switching pumps in the middle of my pregnancy, so I'm shelling out full cost for pods ($299/box of 10) until my baby is born, then I guess I have to switch to a tubed pump system.

I wish I had your "problem"! :)

What a cool bonanza! I won't use Omnipod because the ongoing supplies would cost twice as much as other pumps (under my insurance).

I also had a large stash and I'm drawing it down. On my last 4 boxes that I received at the end of July last year

wow, I am so jealous! I've got about 5 pods left and over $1000 I owe to insulet....

The "full cost" varies in the US (this would be illegal in most other countries...)

Insulet are currently trying to charge Blue Cross $360/ten; in fact in my case they billed for 5 boxes ($1800) when they actually only shipped 4 (they admitted this on the telephone).

The price they quoted me last year, when they had checked my insurance coverage, was $256.30/box (that's the full price, not my copay.)

Of course people without insurance coverage always subsidize those with it in the US; that's a fact of life: in a capitalist country the individual ends up paying.

Still that doesn't mean any one of us has to agree with this; paying $300 for what a big corporation pays $256.30 (or, quite probably, less when the Insulet/Blue Cross war is completed, bloody diabetic corpses notwithstanding) merits at least some protest.

John Bowler jbowler@acm.org

John's online dictionary definitions:

Diabetic: hoarder

Not because we want to, but because we're diabetic for life, we're human beings and we learn fast.

I don't have a cache of Omnipods yet. I do, of course, have a cache of insulin and test strips (I tend to aim for 3 months, but I'm in a very stable environment and have a lot of resources.)

I'm leery of a large cache of omnipods; they seem somewhat unreliable and they depend on some small internal lithium cells not dying while they are closeted. Also they depend on the PDM and the compatibility of the pod software with that in the PDM; as a very experienced software person I would never ever bet my life on such issues, it's just too easy to get wrong.

Still, eleven boxes (that's only 330 days at most - less than a year) is probably a reasonable precaution; neither ridiculously large nor dangerously small.

John Bowler jbowler@acm.org

With this change in vendors, it happened to me too but I still have a 3 month supply on hand, who replaces the ones that go bad, the new vendor or omnipod?

I get my pods through CCS Medical but Omnipod has ALWAYS replaced the faulty ones.

It is interesting. I have had two insurance companies, and in order for the pods to be covered with both insurance companies, I have had to order them from a 3rd party supplier. With both insurance companies, I had to pay the "full price" until my deductible was met. With my old insurance, that meant $275. With Blue Cross - $350. Still trying to figure out how that works...

Why won't they cover the Omnipod? Have they been covering it? I think you might have a patient's rights legal issue.

Insulet (Omnipod); the quality of the product is a matter between you and Insulet, because *you* are the one who paid. The insurance company is just a separate business that covers some of your costs, but insurance pays *you*.

Oh, Ok, I know, it's all a big scam; the insurance company works hand in pocket with the supplier and you get cut out. I noticed that with Dexcom; their product didn't work, I didn't pay (fortunately I paid by credit card); I told my insurance company I wasn't paying and they shouldn't, they dissed me and paid out: everyone wins except me.

Now, if US health insurance was like US car insurance things would be different, but it isn't; it's a scam, first perfected by the US Mafia (you have no choice, you have to pay.)

John Bowler jbowler@acm.org

I've been trying this strategy with no success! lol It's hard to balance Pod inventory with the release of these seemingly ever-elusive smaller Pods! I giggle when I think about the Insulet rep that told us about the new Pods in development before Caleb even started pumping. 5. Years. Ago.

Hoard away. This is a totally rational response to managing a chronic disease with our health care system.

It is crazy difficult to figure out the cost between the annual deductible, the DME copay, and finally the contracted rate between the insurance company. This is before considering the uneven experience podders report regarding failures (which admittedly Insulet is very good about reimbursing).

Just make sure you look at the expiration dates on them – they expire because the internal batteries last only 3 years. If you don’t hear the double beep when priming, the battery is dead.

According to my calculations you now have approximately 33 months of pods accumulated. Can you deal with Liberty to have them stop sending you pods until you call and ask for them? That's what I do both when I have a shortage or when I have too much of something. They provide my strips, pods, and CGM sensors. They have been very accommodating. It may depend on your insurance. The pods expire 2 years after they are manufactured so you are most likely going to be fine for quite some time using what you already have. As to no double beep. I always put a pod through the priming process even when I don't get the double beeps. Much of the time they work fine. If they fail to prime, I simply draw the insulin back out using the syringe in the new pod packet I'm going to use. Swab the vile of insulin you use with alcohol and inject air into the vile as per usual. Then carefully swab the opening of the failed pod into which you put the insulin and with the pod upside down draw what insulin you can get out of the failed one. Then I carefully push all the air out of the syringe until no bubbles appear at the top near the needle. Next I swab the vile once again and draw the remainder of what I need from the vile and tap the syringe to push any bubbles to the top near the needle again as you normally do and eject them carefully. Then I alcohol swab the new pod and insert the insulin as per usual. This protocol, of course is not in the Omnipod manual but it works. If the failed pod is not out of date, report it as usual to Omnipod for replacement. Keep in mind that within the time frame of the pods you now have, there are some big changes expected in the size of the pods. I would think that your insurance would not complain when they do not have to pay for pods. My insurance that pays for the pods is a self insured system so it behooves me to keep their costs as low as possible.

Isn't a box supposed to last a month? That's 10 pods at 3 days @. I figure he's got 33 months of pods accumulated.

Liberty always calls me b4 sending supplies. The next time they call Im going to tell them I have a enough pods to cover the next 3 months & that I dont need anymore.