Harvard Pilgrim and Abbott

I just received a letter from Harvard Pilgrim saying that all test strips that aren't made from Abbott will be raised to a tier 3 drug price. So instead of $25 month it will be $40. I find this so discouraging and frustrating!
I called them and explained that have an Animas pump and my meter is paired with my pump. They said I can get my test strips pre-authorized from my doctor. One rep from Harvard Pilgrim said that I can get them pre-authorized and still pay tier 2 price but I talked with someone else and he said I could get them approved but still pay the increased price.
Then I got a freestyle light meter in the mail yesterday from harvard Pilgrim! I feel outraged that I am now being screwed because they made a deal with Abbott.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Yes I have the same problem, I called them but they don't whant to cover.And I don't know what to do.

Every insurance plan I have dealt with for patients in your situation always allow the strips to be put on the preffered product Tier so long as a prior authorization is obtained. In fact, it makes absolutely no sense to spend the time getting a prior auth if you are still covered at the increased price (like the insurance rep said). Couldn't you just pay the increased price and not worry about the prior auth?

Let the Doc's office know and they will do all the leg work for you. Worst that could happen is they confirm what you already think is going to happen. You only stand to gain..

Thanks for your suggestion. Are you a doctor by any chance? I have to get prior auth to even be allowed to get it at a higher price- what makes sense about health insurance prices anyway?!
I am composing a letter to the CEO of Harvard Pilgrim and hope there is a speck of empathy and acknowledgment of the ridiculousness of all of this.

I am working on figuring this out. I don't know if you have spoken with your doctor yet about it, but that would be the first step.
Eric Shultz is the CEO of Harvard Pilgrim and and his office is in Quincy, MA. I am writing him a letter and will let you know if I get anywhere with this.
If you want to write him his address is:
Eric Shultz
c/o HPHC
1600 Crown Colony Drive ( how fitting of an address!!)
Quincy, MA 02269

If your plan comes up for renewal soon you might check out Blue Cross Blue Shield. The OneTouch line is their preferred brand.


Thanks Maurie, I am with a school district and this is our only choice until fall of 2013. I think we are going to the GIC in Massachusetts and I believe they have more choices. Good to know BCBS has it as their preferred brand.
Out of curiosity does BCBS charge more for other brands?

I use FreeStyle for my Cozmo pump and meter and I think I pay a $45 copay. I needed a waiver letter from my doc to get them. I believe the copay on the One Touch is $25 but I'm not sure.

thank you for the address and i will definitly write a letter to Eric. and i have already spoken with my doctor and he sent the prior authorization but it was denied. they said it was denied because it was our choice to use it and it was not any medical reasons and they will not cover it. my last try will be this letter. let me know if you have any other ideas, i will try them.