Test strip prior authorization

I’ve been a loyal One Touch user until recently, so I’ve never had this problem before. A few weeks ago, I was approved for the OmniPod, which uses Freestyle test strips. My doc wrote me a script for the new test strips, and the pharmacy informed me that I needed to get a prior authorization from my insurance company before they would fill it. Freestyle is a non-preferred product; they prefer One Touch.

I haven’t been denied outright, but it’s just an extra step to get it authorized. It’s a little strange to me because I was approved for the OmniPod, but who would have thought I would run into a test strip problem?

Anyway, I had to call WellPoint, which is the pharmacy benefit administrator. Hopefully I’ll be able to get this straightened out because carrying around two meters is not cool!

Has anybody else run into this problem???

It doesn’t surprise. OneTouch must have cut a sweet deal with the insurance companies because they always seem to be the preferred provider.

I wouldn’t mind that too much, but their test strip design AND meters are fairly lousy by today’s standards. I’d take a Freestyle or a Wavesense meter any day.

Best of luck on getting these covered. Don’t be surprised when you have a bigger co-pay, that’s fairly standard.

I have to get prior authorizations on all of my stuff if I want more than 1 vial of insulin a month or more than 100 test strips in a month (and yes, I do!). I usually call into my doc’s office and they get things straightened out for me. Recently, though, the pharmacies here have become more and more wary of audits, and one pharmacy refused to give me 2 vials of insulin for a 30 day supply, insisting that my 2 vials was a 40 day supply and I should trot myself down to the pharmacy every 20 days to pick up a new bottle. Basically, the entire system is ridiculous, but if you jump through their hoops you will hopefully end up with a filled prescription. Until a year from now when your prior auth runs out… :slight_smile:

I have a similar problem. My insurance only honors the Bayer brand as a formulary prescription, which means they only cost $20 per prescription. Any other brand is then non-formulary, which means it costs $40. I use the Dexcom, which means I have to use the higher costing One Touch strips. My insurance knows what’s best for me, right???

Haha sheeeesh…gotta love insurance companies! I’ve resorted to carrying my One Touch meter with me (along with the OmniPod), testing on the One Touch, and then manually inputting my bg in the OmniPod meter for my bolus calcs. Good thing I have a big purse, but still. What a pain.

I’m hoping I won’t have a higher co-pay with the freestyle strips. Currently the “preferred” test strips are free with prescription, but then again, they’re formulary.

Hello Faye, I have used the One Touch and the Free Style. I prefer the Free Style and so does my endo. She feels that the Free Style is a very accurate meter and had no compliments for the One Touch. I even like the Relion meter from Walmart as well as any meter I have ever used. The Relion strips cost only 42 cents apiece. That is only half the expense of the One Touch or Free Style strips. Why did you choose the Omnipod? Is it too late to change to a different pump company?


I pay a higher co-pay for the strips for my BD-Medtronics machine. People like us are expensive for insurance companies, although we can get a lot more expensive real fast if we work hard to keep blood sugar in control.

I know that I get a LOT more back from Aetna than my employer and I pay into Aetna.

Hi Richard,

The main reason I chose OmniPod was because it’s wireless-- I don’t like the idea of the tubing. While it’s fine for some people, just the idea of accidentally ripping it out is enough to turn me off.

I actually prefer the One Touch test strips and meters. Not a big fan of the Freestyle test strips, even though they use less blood. They’re just too messy for me, and I don’t like not being able to see how much blood is in there (meaning I have to leave the beep on for the OmniPod meter).

I’ll be finding out later this week if/when my insurance company has approved my Freestyle strips.


I am glad you, put this post up. I am going in for my omnipod training tomorrow and I guess I should call my insurance company to see about my strips. I am currently using the OneTouch Ultra Smart and I have been for the past 3.5 yrs. I am a little nervous about the Freestlye only because I use to work for a mail order pharmacy. I hope yout insurance approves you…take care

update-- still haven’t heard back from my insurance company. My boyfriend works at the pharmacy (he’ll be starting pharm school this fall), and I’m asking him to run it every day. So far, nothing. :frowning:

I just started the Omnipod and used the One Touch Ultra Smart. I was denied Freestyle strips; waiting on approval. I am thinking about calling the manufactor about sending me some samples. I hope you get approved. One of the best features of the POD is the intergrated meter…:slight_smile: I will say a prayer for you:)


Guess what, after I replied to your posting I called Abbott (the maker of Freestyle meter). I asked if they could send more some extra strips for my Pod. I explained the situation—needing insurance auth, etc. Guess what…they are sending me 50 strips. I hope it helps. I know 50 strips isn’t enough but I thought 50 is better than none.



I have to get preauthorization for anything over 6 strips a day; to me that seems a bit unreasonable: if we test before and after each meal, that’s 6 right there, not even including before getting in the car to go to and come home from work each day (that’s 8). My insurance company never enforced the policy until this year, then suddenly, my order was less than half the quantity prescribed. The whole thing is supposed to save money, but the way I look at it is that the savings are an illusion: they might save themselves a few dollars on strips, only to see a patient end up in the ER for hypoglycemia, so the savings evaporate, but that’s the way for-profit healthcare works in the U.S.!

me too! always been a one touch fan…when i got on the pod, i started paying more for strips than 10 bottles of humalog insulin!! ask your doc (or maybe you can go online) about the freestyle promise program…i pay only $15 for 4 boxes of strips per month!! it’s awesome!

I ran into this problem and went through the same steps. Got everything authorized so that I could get enough strips for 10-12 strips per day.

I’ve been a loyal One Touch user until recently also. And just like you I have just started on the Omnipod. I test before each meal and 2 hours after each meal. I’m waiting to see what will happen as I have just asked my insurance to cover 700 strips a month. In the mean time…one of the features on the Omnipod I like is testing 2 hours after a meal, and having the system suggest a correction bolus if needed. As I am low on Freestyle strips, I test before each meal with the OneTouch and enter the value by hand, and test 2 hours after a meal with the Omnipod so it can suggest a correction bolus if I need one. I think I can get by doing this till I get a quantity of Freestyle strips. I do not like doing this because I think there is a significant difference in the BG levels the two meters show. But for the time being, this will have to do…good luck.