Monumental frustration>insurance, doc's office, supply company!

I am beyond frustrated and am having a little trouble realizing the kind of “treatment/non-treatment” I’m getting across the board… I’ve had my pump for about 12 years. Always got my supplies from X supply company…line sets, reservoirs & test strips. I get a call about 3 weeks ago now to verify my next order, all I need are test strips and I need them big time. Okay fine. After two weeks, I wonder where the crap my strips are, so I look up online and find no pending orders. Call them up, kept getting put on hold and finally get “I’ll send this to our shipping department and someone will call you.” Uh, okay. ??? Get a call the next day informing me that the company can’t ship to me b/c they aren’t “contracted” w/my new (as of Jan '16) insurance company in my state. Um, REALLY? You couldn’t TELL me that three weeks ago!!! ARGH!! So I ask what I’m supposed to do now. Call your insurance company.
Okie doke… growl So I call them, the gal seems almost confused, takes her forever to tell me to call Liberty Medical. I ask her if she is sure they do pump supplies (last time I contacted them, they only did testing stuff) She says, “Yeah, that’s what it says here”… So I call Liberty. Never get to speak to a human, kept getting “we’ll be with you shortly” until finally the message changed to “if you will leave your number and info, we’ll call you back” so I did.
Two days later, NOTHING. By now, I’m WELL into the very last bottle of strips I have on hand. I go online and send an email to Liberty. STILL NOTHING!
Next day after that email, I call my endo’s office–the lady who arranges new pump/CGM and checks insurance stuff directly. I get the machine, leave a message letting her know I’M DOWN TO THE LAST BOTTLE OF STRIPS. After nothing that day (I called early) I called about 11 am the next day and called the DNE directly, she’s also the endo’s wife, her message says she’s out of the office til Tues, but I leave the info anyway in case she’s checking messages while she’s away. Then I immediately call back and connect to the endo’s assistant and leave the same message. That was Thursday. NOTHING WHAT. SO. EVER!!
I AM FREAKING OUT!!! I am extremely hypo-unaware, so sometimes I have to test a lot. I’m now skipping testing b/c of this situation. What the crap does one do when one cannot get a response from ANYONE??? What the heck!!! I am just pulling my hair out. I’ve NEVER had this experience w/my endo’s office… they’ve always been awesome about communication, so that has me really perplexed, but the deal with the supply companies?!? REALLY??? I wouldn’t do business w/Liberty now if I had to!!
I have Anthem BC/BS in Kentucky. Does ANYONE have any suggestions?? Anyone else in KY with Anthem out there who can tell me who they use?!?!
I am so sick of this kind of crap!!! >:(
Sorry to rant and run, but please, if anyone has suggestions, I’m all ears (& not much else at this point!)

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Geannie, I’m so sorry you’re going through this crap! It still amazes me how much PWD (or any medical issue, for that matter) go through just to get the things they need to survive. Not to mention the fact that you’re not asking for something for free, for heavens sake; you pay your expensive insurance premiums (or you wouldn’t have insurance in the first place!) I still wade through time-consuming crap every few months in order to get my daughter’s insulin and D-supplies even though she’s had the exact same health insurance since before she was born! What test strips do you use, because I might be able to help you out.

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I like to make it someone elses problem. Test strips are not technically a prescription item. They are only required to be prescribed by a doctor to be covered by insurance. I would call Anthem up and tell them that their selected supplier has failed to provide your prescribed test strips and is unresponsive and that you are now forced to go to the emergency room. They have a choice. They can either approve immediate insurance coverage at your nearest local pharmacy or face an emergency room bill.

I also like to “escalate” problems at places like Liberty. Ask for a manager and even someone higher up. Explain to them that they have totally messed up and placed your health at risk. They can totally grab a box of strips and overnight it to you. And if you get shunted to a voicemail, call back and hit “0” and try to get a person. Try to get some other phone numbers (like from the internet) and start calling different numbers. When you get transfered ask for the persons name and direct number and write it down so you have a number to call that isn’t voicemail.

I would also note that most pharmacists will often be very generous in providing a small supply of strips or even insulin to someone with diabetes who is getting the run around. And most doctors have ample supplies of lots of different stuff to give to patients for free.

ps. In the end many of us have to deal with this sort of thing. I have accepted that I must “hoard” supplies and I have to be prepared to go to Walmart and buy some strips if needed. If I don’t have a dozen boxes of strips in my cupboard it is time to reorder.


Thanks for the empathy. :slight_smile: It helps to “hear” that I’m not alone in this, even though I KNOW I’m not. It is just so unnecessary to be treated this way, ya know? Like you say, even when you have no changes, they still find something to throw at you to cause problems. I use One Touch Ultra strips just b/c my former supply company didn’t have Bayer Contour Next strips. Both meters work with my Minimed 530G, but I would love to be able to use the Contour just for the simple fact that it’s smaller and has that backlit display! (why have they never thought of that before? :wink:) Anyhow, I wasn’t looking for donations, but thank you for the offer. I’m on here searching for Anthem-contracted suppliers… I dunno what else to do at this point. :rage:

walmart has their Relion brand, which is affordable, for a meter and strips to tide you over.

I undertand that [quote=“Geannie_George_Gray, post:1, topic:53314”]
takes her forever to tell me to call Liberty Medical.

It took me FOREVER to get my insurance a years ago to tell me that McKesson (formerly known as Sterling) was a preferred provider. Since then., I’ve been able to use them with all the different health insurances we’ve had over the past 10 years. They will check for you if your insurance works w them. their number is 888-239-2990

in fact, I just called them and asked if they are a preferred provider for BC/BS of KY and they said yes. another thing I like about them is they almost always answer the phone right away. I get my strips & insulin pump supplies from them.

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Thanks! I haven’t looked at Relion for a long time, hadn’t checked to see if they still have those or if they’d work with my meter, but that’s my next step. Appreciate it! :slight_smile:

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I swear this kind of thing is why my hair is thinning, more than my hypothyroid issues!!!

You will likely have to buy a Reli-On meter to use the Reli-On test strips, unless you have an old Reli-On meter. But it’s still not too expensive, compared to high-blood pressure from lack of peace of mind.


Sorry for your frustrations, I HATE Liberty. You can never get anyone on the phone there, and if they do trying to get them to understand what you want is another whole experience. I REFUSE to use Liberty. Luckily my insurance also contracts with Edgepark, which is who I am now dealing with regarding my new Tslim pump and supplies. So far so good. I haven’t had any issues with them. You might check with your insurance if Liberty is the ONLY provider for pump supplies they contract with. Sometimes plans have multiple preferred providers they contract with. I know Edgepark also does pump supplies as well as Byram. My plan isn’t contracted with Byram yet for pump supplies but I hear they are a really good company. As other’s have suggested maybe invest in a Relion meter and strips from Wal-mart as they are extremely reasonably priced. I’d save the Relion meter for those “in between” times when testing if you feel you are dropping, and stock pile your regular strips. I mean it shouldn’t change the prescription order because you are testing x amount of times. But it would save strips for all those random checks. Good luck, hope you get it straightened out and your plan offers more than one supplier. Liberty is the absolute worst.

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Update: I was finally able to get Edgepark to send me strips and get set up to supply my pump stuff too. I also just had Byram do the paperwork on a Dexcom. I am busy now trying to figure out exactly how long to expect out of the sensors and transmitters. The CGM is a big expense for us since there doesn’t seem to be nearly as much deductible met as I thought there would be and after reading several threads on other forums & some here, I’m a little concerned about the whole “hard-wired to shut off after a certain amount of time” thing. I really don’t like that, but I can’t say too much since I haven’t used the thing for myself. I almost felt compelled to go ahead and get it because…drumroll… I got a scholarship to attend Master Lab 2016 in Orlando next month and for my poor husband’s peace of mind, we felt we really should just bite the bullet. I’ve NEVER flown before and I’ve NEVER gone this far from home alone before. Shoot people, I don’t even go to the grocery store by myself if I can help it! LOL! So… BIG ol’ step for this small-town girl. I was really nervous about attempting all this new stuff without a CGM when I’m really hypo-unaware, ya know? Feeling thankful to have the Dexcom give us all a little peace of mind when the time comes! Anyhow, just thought I’d update on this situation for anyone who cares. :slight_smile:

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Congratulations on the scholarship! I hope you have a great time. Having a CGM is definitely liberating, and can really reduce anxiety levels.

That said, I wish you better luck with Byram than I had. I was originally given pharmacy quotes but told it could also go through DME. I opted to go through DME because I’d reached my max out of pocket for the year. My CGM was then flat out denied. Byram had already shipped it out without making sure it was actually covered through DME (supposedly even after being told it wasn’t, according to my insurance), and it’s been a nightmare as my insurance didn’t bother to say that if it was re-run through pharmacy that it’d have been approved. To “fix” the problem, Byram wanted me to send back my system and they’d ship out a new one, run through pharmacy - I opted to go with an entirely different company after spending 20-30 mins on hold per phone call, days without return phone calls when messages were left, and non-returned emails. I’ve been waiting since 6/7/2016 for my return slip to be processed and mailed to me.

I’ve spoken with two other people who have had billing issues with Byram, so make SURE that they DO NOT mail you anything until you have agreed upon what is covered, for how much, and how much you are going to pay - and make them email you that in writing.

It was actually the pharmacist at Pumps It, Inc. who figured out what went wrong and saved me from having to go through the appeals process.

Oh dear. That’s awful & it always stinks to be in that situation. I am dreading the bill when it arrives. We can’t pay it in full and no real payment options were settled. I guess I’ll deal with that crap once it has hit the proverbial fan. Thanks for the heads up!!