Insurance is making me change insulin and test strips.... Your opinions please!

They are making me change from the freestyle test strips I use for my omnipod to either of the following. Accu-check or One touch. Does anybody have a preference?

Also, they are making me change from Novolog insulin to Humalog. Is there a noticeable difference? Currently I bolus about 15 mins before eating to get ahead of the spike. Should I do the same with Humalog?


Yeah, my insurance stopped covering Freestyle awhile back as well. If you really want to stay with Freestyle, you and your doctor can fill out some paperwork. From what I understand, it's a pretty straightforward process that will keep you on Freestyle.

I decided not to pursue that option and I just went with Accu-check.

Not sure about the Humalog versus Novalog. I'm on Novalog for years and my insurance company doesn't seem to have issue with it.

Best of luck!

I'm in a similar situation. My insurance is making me change my insulin from Apidra to Humalog and my strips from Accu-Chek to One Touch. I don't like it. My current system is working well and I hate to fix something that's working!

I'm trying to keep an open mind. I will try the new insulin and strips and see if I can get good results. All three of the the rapid acting analog insulins (Apidra, Novolog, and Humalog) all publish very similar nominal action profiles regarding times for onset, peak, and duration. We all have our own action profiles, however. I will test Humalog and make adjustments as needed to maintain my control. If it becomes a control problem, I will complain to my doctor and get her to write an appeal letter to the insurance company.

I plan to use the same settings in my pump when I make the change and carefully monitor my BG response. Since many people here use Humalog with success, I'm hoping it will be no big deal. If you're using a 15 minute prebolus time now, that would be a good starting point for you.

Since you are economically committed to the Omni-Pod until the warranty expires, it seems you could argue that you want to keep using the FreeStyle strips for the duration. The insurance company helped pay for the O'pod. Maybe they would make an exception for you.

These insurance companies have no idea how hard we work to control our BGs. Once you get into a successful pattern and rhythm, it's a bad idea to change something like the brand of insulin. The spreadsheet wizards don't know and apparently don't care.

I have used both types of insulin, they are both U100 so clinically speaking one unit should lower your BG by the same amount as should all U100 insulin. There could be a difference in how long it takes to get the Job done. I have always liked the way novolog works in my pump but humalog has always been my favorite insulin when doing corrections with a syringe.

The majority of people find no difference between novolog and humalog. I was one of those rare folks that did, but I found humalog suited me better as the novo took a lot longer to work for me. As for the meter, I can't offer advice, just a reminder. When you get the new meter, take it a few times to the lab with you to see how accurate and precise it is. My Freestyle is always 5% higher than the lab. So I can comfortably dose by it's readings.

Folks, I know this is disruptive, and I don't like it when things like this happen to me either.

However, I must point out that we (the public collectively) are responsible for these sorts of annoyances, not the insurance companies.

These forced changes, and the elimination of choices, is due to our relentless pressure on health care costs. I'm not saying that's bad, just pointing out the facts.

The bottom line, in everything, is choice has a price.

Many don't understand why an insurer will cover one analog insulin, and not another. They're basically the same thing from a functional standpoint, right? Same with test strips. Needles. On and on.

What gives here is, in an attempt to keep costs down and meet their customer's demands for quality and price, insurers contract with suppliers. Suppliers compete for these contracts. These contracts are exclusive -- the insurer (and the insurance customer) negotiate the lowest cost possible, and the supplier gets a predictable, exclusive market in the insurer's customer base.

I really get fed up with so many people viewing this ordinary, quite ethical functioning of the health insurance market as some sort of nefarious, evil behavior by insurance companies.

Really, I have little patience for those that want the cheap ticket but first-class service and accomodations. There is insurance that gives wide-ranging choice in all aspects of health care (at least there used to be -- the ACA is eliminating that option), it's just very expensive. Insulin bought retail without contract is much more expensive -- more than 2x. Plans that allow you to choose whatever brand of medication, test strips, etc. you want pay retail or simple discounted retail. The cost to cover people with such insurance is much higher, and so are the premiums.

In my opinion the only meaningful issue here is the inconvenience of not being able to used the integrated meter in your PDM.

Other than that, Accu-check meters and strips are every bit as good and accurate as Freestyle, and all three fast-acting insulin analogs (Humalog, Novolog, Apidra) are, in the first-order, interchangeable.

For a small minority of people the three analogs are not interchangeable, which can only be determined by trying them out. if Humalog doesn't work well for you, I'd be shocked if your insurer doesn't have some sort of exception process to get Apidra covered -- albeit at significantly higher cost to the insurer than the Apidra they've contracted for.

Bottom line: Relax. Changing strips and brand of insulin -- otherwise functionally the same -- shouldn't be cause for great concern, or outrage. You will be able to manage and control your diabetes just as well with Accu-check strips and Humalog insulin in your Omnipod, unless you are among the small number that have a physiological issue with Humalog vs. Apidra.

I'm an Omnipod user too. It would annoy the hell out of me to have to carry around another meter and test strips, my built-in PDM meter being dead-weight. The convenience means enough to me to try appealing first to see if I could get the strips covered given the PDM situation.

I don't wanna make you upset /scare you but yeah there is a possibility of Humalog not being your cup of tea, it wasn't mine. Like you might have no issues with it, but I was started with humalog...and it made me feel kinda bad (and I can't explain how other than the headaches) and gave me headaches that was all resolved by switching to Novolog. Hopefully the change over won't bother you. Most people it doesn't seem to bother them, but for me it did and I'm not exactly sure why.I hope I never have to switch back to humalog :( .

As for the strips, I have a one touch ultra 2 and a one touch mini. I like the ultra 2 more, great meter, and I feel it's pretty accurate. I'd suggest the onetouch over the accucheck personally because I've heard a lot better things and have better personal experience with the onetouch. But If you're using an omnipod ,I'd try to appeal for the freestyle strips so you can continue to use them, for your sanity and convenience.

I just got the same letter too. Ironically, I’d been using generic inexpensive truetest strips for years, they say now the only alternative is onetouch, which will cost the insurer and myself twice as much, so I’m really not sure what problem they had with me trying to save us both money. I used onetouch for about 2 weeks when initially diagnosed… Found them to be very inconsistent and required a lot of blood-- didn’t care for it, don’t want to use it again

Thanks. My insurance would cover the freestyle but it would be $75 a month instead of one touch which is $15 a month. If I carry the one touch mini I should be ok, just one more small thing to carry. That comes out to like a difference of $700 a year, that's a lot of money

I understand the tradeoffs that we now must make with regard to the ACA and the insurance company use of contracts to get a lower price on medications that we need. I still rankle at the concept that we as patients must give way to accommodate a system that permits parasites like insurance companies to suck value out of the health care equation and give nothing in return.

Your comments all make sense given the current reality and I agree. I look forward to the day when we can throw off the yolk of the no-value-added insurance companies with their wasteful fees/profits and let the real market force of a single payor system drive down the costs for all of us while maintaining the choice that patients sometimes need to effectively treat their unique situation.

Not sure what insurance you have, but I have BCBS. They sent me the letter stating that they now only cover the One Touch strips as part of the prescription coverage. However, since I am on the pod, my strips are covered under DME not prescription and therefore I still get them.

I've used humalog for ~15 years and try to bolus about 15 minutes early as well :)

I urge you to reconsider your view that insurance companies are "parasites" providing "no-value-added" for you.

Aren't insurers covering costs for you that you couldn't pay yourself? Are they not providing you with coverage should something very, very expensive happen, like a heart transplant?

Understand that I am no cheerleader for the insurance industry, nor do I have any connection with them. I am simply (I believe) a rational, fair person trying to see all aspects of these issues.

Frankly, what I fear is that the sort of attitude you are showing here -- a very common attitude -- is going to result in my health care options being narrowed, reduced in quality, and in some cases potential future options not being realized (like a cure) -- all because basically people don't want to pay for it. They see the value that insurance provides as not existing, as some sort of parasitic greed, and therefore support public policy to basically get rid of them.

By your reasoning all insurance adds no value, is parasitic, and should be eliminated.

I was forced to switch from FreeStyle as well. I like the Accu-check more than the One Touch but that isn't saying a whole lot.


Personally, I feel strongly that universal healthcare should be a right. Health insurance isn't healthcare. It's a means to arrange for affordable healthcare, if you can afford the insurance premium for the options that best fill your healthcare need.

I completely understand your point of view and do not invalidate it in any way, shape, or form, with my own.

However, I also see validation in a point of view that sees insurance companies as a superfluous middle man given that healthcare should be a right. I wouldn't go as far as to call them a parasite either because they do provide a necessary service given that universal healthcare is not seen as a right.

I work with my insurance company because I have to. If I had the means, I wouldn't. As a customer, I have a good working relationship with the company that provides the services, but it was a major PITA when they stopped providing support for Freestyle Strips. It was a major PITA to have to provide documentation that I am, indeed, a diabetic just to keep getting the Omnipod 2 years after I was initially given coverage for the Omnipod without the documentation in the first place.

I understand the concern that if we, as customers, do not give insurance companies latitude to make business decisions that it will negatively affect the services they provide. However, given that we are working with, essentially, a free-market solution to our healthcare needs, if we, as customers, do not speak up for our own needs then we are also in danger of simply having those needs go unaddressed.

I have no argument with the idea that non-wealthy people like me need to manage the risk of providing health care when we need it. I just don't think that the private health insurance companies in business in the US should be the managers of that system.

Insurance companies are, by their very nature, profit-seeking enterprises. They pursue profits for their shareholders and to pay exorbitant CEO and upper-management compensation. That profit and over-the-top management salaries come out of money that could have been spent on actual health care.

I don't have the actual numbers at my fingertips but the US spends about twice as much per capita on health care as the next country in line. Yet for all that money, the health outcomes are worse.

I will concede that I exaggerated the uselessness of insurance companies. I do admit that they provide some value in arranging payments to health providers. Medicare has an overhead cost of something like 3%; private insurance companies need about 30% to run their bloated bureaucracies.

Please don't characterize my position as one that unreasonably demands first rate medical care and disease research but doesn't want to pay anything for it. If I am anything, I am pragmatic. I just don't want to share the precious dollars that we collectively pool for health care with profit-based organizations. I would much prefer that the health care middleman be an organization with a 3% overhead than one with a 30% overhead.

I believe that health-care is a fundamental human right, not a market to drive outlandish profits.

I have used AccuCheck of one type or another almost since at home testing was made available. I have not had any issues with the readings. If my BG is quite high, I usually wash my hands and retest. The difference is usually about 20 between the two results. No problems with them, but I am soooo used to using those strips and meter.

And I used Humalog forever with no problems. Switched to Novolog in the past 2 years. Saw no difference between the two.

One touch all the way!

You can get the freestyle strips, you'll just have to fight a little for it. Your doc will have to fill out some paperwork and you may have to make a few strongly worded phone calls to the insurance company, but more likely than not you'll end up getting them. This is how my family works around it.

And humalog is exactly the same.

As some stated before, Humalog and Novolog are quite the same, but some people have problems with it. my bg wasnt as consistent and good with humalog as with novolog, so after one bottle i went back to novo. thank god i have an insurance that doesnt require me to change anything i have. hope you can get through this, some have said, fight for it, insurance cant do everything they like.
good luck