Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Diabetics can NOT do Everything

Let me preface this post by saying, "Warning, major Scully rant brewing."

Diabetics can NOT do everything a non-diabetic can do.  Sure we can live like normal people and hide our frustrations but we cant get the same things non-diabetics can.  INSURANCE.  I quit my lovely happy favourite job back in December because of the commuting distance once they moved the office 65km away.  I then quit my second job due to its complete horridness for a job within 10min drive to work which I have enjoyed working at so much since March.  That job came with a price.  No medical benefits.  I weighed the pros and cons and stupid me thought I would just find a private insurance company and pay for it.  Boy was ever seriously naive in thinking it would be easy to find insurance.  Its not only hard as I recently discovered its IMPOSSIBLE.  Phone call after phone call left me hanging my head and waving my white flag.  Absolutely no company will insure diabetics.  Sure they all offer a small amount of coverage, usually in the $500/year and NOT 100% coverage with a monthly premium of upwards to $100.  Is it just me, or does anyone else see the pointlessness of that?

I recently contacted a company who advertises on the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) webpage that they will:
"...provide access to insurance products and services to suit your needs and budget or we will provide advice, information and alternatives that may be available to you."

You know the best they did for me?  If I pay $150 annually I will receive $300 in coverage.  I had to hold back laughter when the guy told me this. 

This is where my researched left me: 
"No private insurance company will provide you with individual health and prescription drug insurance that would provide you the level of coverage you are looking for."


They all cover some other pre-existing conditions yes but certainly not diabetes.  Why is this? well for the obvious reason that the insurance companies won't make any money off us on premiums as the entire world knows the cost of diabetes is out-fucking-rageous.  What upsets me the most is that its Type 1!  I did abso-fucking-lutely NOTHING to deserve this.  I didn't ask this disease to ruin my life, I was the healthiest person when my pancreas broke.  I don't have Type II which is largely based on lifestyle choices.  I know there are exceptions to that rule, those Type II's who get it purely for genetic reasons.  For the most part THEY sort of have/had a choice to make lifestyle changes.  
 
Whoever said "Canada has free health care" is out of their minds.  I am royally f*cked to say the least.  I saved up supplies (test strips, insulin, glucose gels) since December but that stock pile is looking pretty sad these days.  I am one of the lucky ones who pushed to get into the Ontario Assisted Devices Program in which the government pays for my pump and provides adult PWD with (barely) enough money every three months for supplies, only pump supplies no CGM.  The major thing here is the test strips as we all very well know.  I calculated last night my monthly supply usage with strips, insulin and a few other personal medications I take and it came to $450/month (not including pump supplies).  Am I supposed to stop testing since that's where most of the cost is?  I can't afford that out of my pocket.  I'm barely making ends meet as it is what with house payments and bills.   I spent a long time last night trying to come up with a plan in between fits of crying and rage.  I thought of selling my house and going back to renting an apartment, get rid of my gym membership and cut corners everywhere I can.  On top of desperately trying to find a new job.  I may be commuting as far as I was before and doing a job I may not like just so I can get group benefits.  Even then, sometimes group benefits require a medical questionnaire and they sometimes have the right to deny certain coverages.

I had a dream of someday having my own consulting company, but that just got blown out of the water.  Maybe if I am with someone who has a health plan or I can afford to shell out the extra $450/month I can do it.  Truth is, I can't rely on someone else who doesn't exist.  I can't rely on making enough money either.  I need it now.  I need the help right this minute or I'll be looking at selling my house in the near future. 

So you know what? Diabetics are NOT just like everyone else and can NOT do what normal people do unless they are rich fucks.  'Nuff said.

6 comments:

  1. Scully, I too live in Canada and have found similar frustrations. When I lived in Ontario I was successful in getting onto ON Blue Cross and they covered my insulin, test strips everything 80% and the cost was reasonable. Now, this was a few years ago, but I'd recommend you check them out (if you haven't already of course).

    However, in my exp trying to get critical illness insurance was the hugest waste of time! I was prepared to pay extra eventhough I disagree with that, but I was outright denied and treated like garbage.

    Even the insurance company the CDA recommended told me "miss, there is no way that a type 1 diabetic will get critical illness insurance." I asked what? why? I was told "it is a guarentteed fact that those w/ diabetes will not work till the age of retirement AND they have increased risk of developing cancer and other listed critical illnesses. Don't even bother, you won't get it anywhere."

    I was outraged to say the least (trying to keep this reply rated PG). I was so angry & have never written such a horrible email to anyone in my life. I shared my horrible exp. with the guy from CDA who recommended this insurance company & told him to not recommend them to anyone every again. I even suggested CDA get involved to advocate for PWD. The insurance company's so-called data is complete & total BS & to make things worse, it's discriminiatory.

    Sadly, nothing changed and no one seemed to give a darn.

    Sorry for the rant, but you are not alone in this frustration & struggle. I hope you are successful in getting some medication coverage. All the best & hang in there!

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  2. I can completely understand your frustration. I have been unable to get private insurance. Thankfully, I am covered under my husband's plan. That being said I am still worried about what would happen should he lose his job or their coverage change. We most definitely cannot afford all the costs of my supplies. I too use a pump. Unfortunately, the cost of the pump was not covered by insurance but the supplies are. BC also does not have a program for adults like Ontario does. Funny thing is i lived in Ontario in whole life until 2 years ago....should have jumped on the pump thing then. oh well. here's to stressing about our never ending medical expenses, and oh isn't it so nice to know that insurance companines feel we are going to die some early horrible death- obviously not exact quote but that is certainly how it feels.

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  3. Amanda:
    I appreciate the comment, I have called up Ontario Blue Cross and the most they can offer me in coverage is 70%, $500/year. Not even close to meeting my needs. At least its another company crossed off my list.

    Lindsay:
    The pump program for adults came into effect September 2008 and I literally FORCED my way through the process the 1st of the month. I was one of the guinea pigs. Not sure how it would work should I choose to leave the province though! Like you said, "die some early horrible death" because that would be so much easier to deal with from their point of view.

    Ontario does have the Trillium plan but I received mine in the mail the other day and my annual deductible is $1900!! hardly worth it

    my options now are limited. I am currently searching for a new job again. it'll be the 4th one this year. If that doesn't pan out soon enough.... selling my house is the last straw.

    Seriously, they say Canada is the place to be for health care. If I have an emergency or need surgery is one thing. But now I need life-sustaining medical aid which I can't afford. Now What?! declare bancruptcy and apply for social aid? FUCK (is all I can say)

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  4. I use the Contour Link because I'm FORCED to as it works along with my pump. But I HATE it. I used to have 2 freestyle lites that I used as my cheater meters but have lost BOTH in the past couple weeks cycling. I kindly have 1 replacement coming my way from Abbott thankfully.
    Why the question?

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  5. I use a contour USB, so if you want I can send you some of my test strips (probably only 25 or so, but at least it's some)? I don't pay for them over here, although I do have to keep an eye on how many I use, if that makes sense (don't want to bleed the NHS dry!)

    Also, I have 50 strips for the freestyle lite you can have if you want - I got given them free at a JDRF event a few weeks ago.

    Email me at mapoftheseas @ gmail.com! :)

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