So, 17 years ago I get hit with pancreatitis. Cause? Incomplete development of pancreas in utero. It worked fine for 42 years, then the pancreas stopped. $125,000+ in medical bills later and I’m a regular at the ER for 100mg of Demerol and go home to rest and recover. At the beginning, my medical insurance was $100/mo.
Flash forward to now. I haven’t had medical insurance for over a decade. Last time I checked, it was a $6,000 premium with a $5,000 deductible for 70% coverage. My last big medical bill was for 2+ weeks of hospitalization, $75,000. Paid it myself. [Don’t pay the bill and negotiate like Hell to pay the Medicare rate–most places will take certainty of lowered payment over a stupid lawsuit.]
About 5 years ago, I got hit with another attack of pancreatitis. Maybe 6 weeks later I noticed I couldn’t read the street signs and visited my eye doctor. He couldn’t diagnose diabetes, but urged me on to my regular physician … and I went. The pronouncement was ‘you have a blood sugar of 485’. Well, Doc, with no context, it meant nothing to me.
I’m then off to the local diabetes education center. Basically, after getting really sick, the islet cells shut down. I’ve been insulin dependent ever since.
Living with diabetes: deal with it or die a slow, horrible death. I have exercised regularly, walking, skiing, running, swimming, mountain biking since my 20’s. Diabetes is nothing more than an inconvenience. And it forced me to better consider what I eat.
I’d like somebody to permit me to buy health insurance coverage at a decent rate and my only hope is a public option. My hatred of insurance companies of all stripes, but especially health, is visceral and of long standing.
Do it Yourself (DIY) – my solutions:
1) Use the Internet to find the cheapest supplies you can buy. I saved over $500/year dumping the convenience of a needle pen and going to syringes. I saved even more with the discovery that the ‘single use’ syringe is easily good for the day’s 4-5-6 injections,so I use one syringe each day.
2) Challenge your pharmacist. I went to virtually every chain pharmacy in town and gathered all of my prescription prices. Maximum cost from the various sellers was in excess of $500. I asked my long time pharmacy if they’d match the cheapest price from every place in town and I’d buy all of my prescriptions from them. The result is a $160/month drug bill, not the $300+ I was paying.
3) Exercise or die.