February 18, 2011
You may be wondering “what else do I need to keep in mind” by the title of this posting. For those of us living with diabetes, there is quite a bit we need to remember on a daily basis. This post is not addressing these items, it is addressing something perhaps most of us have not considered a vital piece of information to keep track of. I am guilty of this myself.
I received a call a few weeks ago (some time after the New Year) from my pump company. They were calling to inform me that the warranty on my pump would be up on February 25th of this year and I could upgrade if I wish to. Great! Let’s do it! So I started the process. They (my pump company) verified my insurance benefits and they also informed me of the out-of-pocket cost to me. It would cost me roughly $800 to upgrade. Ok, not so bad. Until I looked further.
I have a $2500 / year cap on DME (durable medical equipment) with my insurance. My pump & it’s supplies fall under this, as would my CGM and sensors, which I was also hoping insurance would now start paying for. However, if I were to upgrade my pump, that would leave with $0 for anything supply-related, whether it pump or CGM supplies.
I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I was very upset to learn that my pump company (they will be kept nameless to protect the guilty) could only give notification 30 days prior to the warranty ending. If I had known back in October or November when I was electing my benefits for this year, I would have opted to take the max allowable for my flex spending and it would have been a done deal all around.
I now have a choice to make, which is actually multi-faceted. Do I upgrade my pump and not my CGM? Do I upgrade both and use what ever I have in my flex spending to cover the expenses, thereby leaving me no monies to cover other health-related expenses like prescriptions and co-pays? Do I go off my pump for the next 6 to 8 months to save the DME allowance? Do I upgrade and use my out-of-pocket expenses as a tax write off next year? This is a lot of questions requiring much thought. I’m not sure what the best answer is yet…..
I have filed a complaint with my pump company. I am not sure it will help any though. All pump companies should be doing whatever they can to SUPPORT people with diabetes and making processes easier, not more challenging and stressful. After all, they depend on us to support them, why shouldn’t it work the other way?
My message is this: make a note of the date you purchase your pump on a calendar. Also check the duration of your warranty (in my case) it was 4 years.Check these dates every year when it comes time for you to elect your benefits for the new year.