CIGNA declares Freestyle test strips non-preferred brand

We received a letter today from CIGNA stating that only AccuCheck and OneTouch Ultra strips will be considered Preferred brand tier. All other strips, (Freestyle!) will be considered Non-Preferred Brand, and, thus cost a lot more money. This really sucks. That decision nullifies half the features of the pump we have had for a grand total of 10 weeks.

We are on an HRA plan. They [CIGNA] want us to be educated on our healthcare decisions. One of our reasons for going with Cozmore was that freestyle strips costs less than the strips that went with Medtronic. I educated myself; I did my homework; I was well informed, and, the rules changed on us 10 weeks after ownship.

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

This is the letter
7680-CIGNALetterrepreferredteststrips.pdf (1.38 MB)

Mark, I don’t have CIGNA, but had a similar problem last year. It took three days and numerous phone calls to my insurance co, my endo’s office and my employer’s benefits person to solve it. I told them that they have already paid for a $6000 insulin pump that uses those strips and I’ll be OK with them saving a few pennies on strips if they’ll pay for another $6000 pump that uses their preferred strips. They eventually saw the logic. Good luck.


Thanks for the advice. That’s the same logic I wrote in a letter to CIGNA last night. I’m also going to get in touch with Abbott to see if they can put a bit of pressure on CIGNA. I’m sure they won’t be happy to hear customers are being pushed away from them.

That sucks. That is actually something I was looking forward too, cheaper test strips. I do not have CIGNA but hopefully it won’t be an issue with my insurance also. Thanks for the info.

I currently have Cigna but it is a PPO not an HMO which plan do you have? I am about to purchase a Cozmo thru Cigna and they have approved the buy for the pump so with this I am going to check to see about the strip coverage and what my plan will cover. What did you do to have CIGNA pay for the strips is there a copay?

I was just on the Cigna site and according to their records under my plan a ppo they do cover the freestyle test strips, however it depends on the coveragethat you have with cigna some plans it is not covered others it is. So I am pelased to n=know that I can now get the Cozmo and the strips without a hassle on my part. One of the things that I check when ever I get a job are the health benefits and many companies will allow you to edit and change the benefits package, being a diabetic I always look at issues like this and the coverage they supply.

We are on an HRA plan - consumer driven healthcare. I don’t have copays, but rather coinsurance percentages I have to pay. The theory being that if the consumer looks for a lower cost alternative, the amount I would pay would be less than if I chose a higher cost option.

The problem isn’t in the medical coverage. It is actually in the formulary for the drug plan. The way my plan is setup, I get the pump and pump supplies through my medical coverage, but get testing supplies through prescription coverage.

Hi, everyone. I am a new member and still trying to “navigate” my way around this site. I also have the Cozmo Deltec with attached glucose monitor which uses Freestyle strips. Up until 2 weeks ago, I had no problem getting insur (have Priority Medical HMO) to cover a portion of the strips. I get 250 strips a month thru Costco Pharmacy. I called the nurse coordinator at Priority and explained that my pump used Freestyle. I needed Freestyle. After a stressful conversation, the nurse coord wrote an “exception override” on my plan. Costco then was contacted & insur is covering again.

An important addn to this story is the cost. There is a program called “Freestyle Promise” which will cover the difference between what your insur covers and the amt of the Rx. My insur coverage is 50% of the cost. I pay $15 for 250 strips. Yes, you read correctly. $15. Abbot’s program pays all but $15 which you pay at the pharmacy. If you want contact information about the Freestyle Promise program, let me know. My endo told me about the program and I say thank-you every time I purchase the strips.