Insurance Company Rant (Kind of)

Interesting set of circumstances when I went to refill my Novolog prescription through the mail this week. When I called in they said that they would not fill my entire prescription as they “round down” when the 3 month supply calls for a partial box. Instead they sent two boxes for 75 days. Irritated me a bit as I like to keep a somewhat substantial supply in the event of disaster or prescription unavailability. They 2nd dayed my insulin which arrived warm - not even luke warm, really warm as the delivery company left it on the front porch in the hot sun all day while I was at work.

Called Caremark to inquire about getting another shipment and they could not send it out as the pharmacists on duty were out for the day and a reshipment required their approval. Talked to a pharmacist the next day and they said they would need to ship it out the next Monday, overnight so it would arrive Tuesday. Ok, not a problem as I had sufficient insulin to get me through the week. Asked them to ship it to the office so I could get it in the fridge right away and avoid the earlier problem.

Got a call the next morning from the automated system notifying me it would ship Friday overnight to me. This would be bad as the insulin would not be deliverable as the office is closed. Pressed the appropriate button(s) totalk with someone and got disconnected - erg. Called them back, explained the situation and they said they would change the address to ship back to my house.

Saturday arrived and went as did Sunday and no insulin. Just got off the phone with them again. It was shipped to my office and is likely sitting at UPS, all warm and toasty - erg again. Good thing I didn’t need any insulin right away per their policy of only filling enough needed between prescriptions. It really doesn’t irritate me that much, but the fact that there is now 20 pens of unusable Novolog out there kind of irritates me. I am sure that someone out there probably could have used the insulin, rather than just flushing it down the toilet.

Even though it will cost me more I think I will just get 30 day supplies from my nearest Pharmacy in the future. Thank you Caremark (sarcasm intended).

Horror stories like this have prevented me from EVER getting insulin through the mail. Although My insurance company strongly pushes home delivery,I live in the steamy Midwest; and I will not even Chance the insulin vials ( I pump) sitting out on my porch.The local CVS pharmacy around the corner from my house is FINE with me.

Cod bless,

I have been using Medco for over 10 years and have never received a bad bottle of insulin.They ship it to my office and my staff knows it's important for it to go strait to the refrigerator. I communicate with them during regular business hours and they always call me to confirm my insulin shipment address, ship day and require a signature on my end.

My monthly medication cost would be astronomical (catastrophic) if I did not use a mail order company.

I had a similar issue with Liberty last year. It wasn't actually Liberty's fault. UPS delivered my insulin but never put a sticky note on my door to let me know there had been a delivery attempt. They just left the package in the management office at the apartment I was living in. The management office then never notified me that I had a package waiting, so the insulin sat in a supply closed for several days. Right next to the heating vent. Argh. I immediately called Liberty and they were great; they backed the prescription out of their system, had me send the insulin back, and then forwarded my Rx to a local CVS to be filled. Now, I just get my insulin at my local 24 hour CVS. In my case, I don't pay more, but even if I did, the convenience is still worth it. I just don't trust that insulin stays at a reasonable temp during shipment.

As for having enough - I actually have my doc write an Rx for more insulin than I actually need. This way, I always have some extra on hand that I can stash away for an emergency.

Oh my goodness, how totally maddening! What a series of snafus - I would say "comedy of errors" but it isn't funny. Question: My insurance switched to Caremark on January 1 this year and I found out that they now do thirty day supplies for the same price as mail-away. As CVS is the only pharmacy in my town and it's 7 minutes away I've started switching everything over to in-store. I guess there are different Caremark coverages, but it would be worth it to check and see if yours has switched to same pricing as well.

I did get insulin (and all my meds) through the mail by Medco with only one problem which they corrected promptly.

Does your CVS charge the same amount as it would for mail-in now, Brunetta?
Btw I just can't resist - I like your "fish blessing"!

Me too, MBP, I probably go through only 4 vials in 3 months (or less) but have it written for 5.

NO, Ordering through the on-line provider would be about 20% cheaper than the CVS. However, I only use about 2 vials in 6-7 weeks; yand the higher price is worth the safety for me.
Zoe-lol you know my typos. I'll get it right this time.

God Bless,

I am lucky that my insurance plan allows me to get 90 days worth of insuin at my local pharmacy and does not force me to use mail-order for insulin.

For those of you that live in cities that have a FedEx Office Store and/or a UPS store, you can usually re-route your package to the store instead of having it delivered at home. I do this often with medical supplies that I don’t want left on the front porch in the heat or cold or on things that require a signature. In general FedEx does not charge you to re-route the package. UPS charges me $5 (I think that’s the amount) and also required me to sign up for a program that I think is called MY UPS. But both programs have worked very well for me.

You can re-route the packages online once they are shipped and you have the tracking number.

My insurer also pushes home delivery and it's always tight at the end of the month but I'm like 2 minutes away from a 24 hour Walgreens if I have issues.

I'm really happy I have the same cost either way now and that CVS is my local pharmacy (we only have one drugstore in town). I would think they would try to encourage use of pharmacies because it costs them more (and more effort!) to mail things. I also like that I'm giving my business to my small town. But yeah, when it cost more to get at the drugstore I'd only do so in a crisis.

I've had no issues, tg, with Express Scripts. They mail in a styro cooler with plenty of ice packs. It would cost me a small fortune to get my insulin locally, unfortunately, so I feel fortunate that I've had good luck with mail order.

that respinse I gave to the cost is a inaccurate. Was thinking nin the past year.(2011).sorry.When I had pre-retirement insurance through Aetna, it was 20% chaper to get insulin mailed. However since the beginnung of the year and my retirement insurance started with Medical Mutual, the costs for my Apidra has been 0 null set, void,$0....I originally thought it was because of the Apidra penn shortage that it was free for the first three months of 2012; but found out that the retirement plan theat I hadv pays for insulin,period,regardless of how you get it sent...R4eally a blessing for me How could I forget that?..Stuck in the last year, I guess

God Bless,