[IP] Test Strip Discrimination
I have a problem with BCBS of Oklahoma. I will be as brief as I know how
to be in explaining the problem. For ten years BCBS of Alabama allowed me
to get test strips from MiniMed/Medtronic at a cost of 20% of actual
contract cost after deductible met. I am now working for a company whose HQ
is in Oklahoma, and our insurance is through BCBS of Oklahoma. Until
October 1st, I was allowed to get test strips through MiniMed as before.
Effective October 1, I had to get my test strips (Using One Touch Ultra)
like a prescription at my local pharmacy. The co-payment was $25 per month.
Then I changed to MM Paradigm, BD Logic test strips and now I am charged $72
for a one month supply. Seems as though Ultra had a "deal" with BCBS OK to
provide diabetics with free pumps and therefore BCBS Prescription Review
Board now consider Ultra, and only Ultra, as a preferred prescription, with
a co-pay of $25 per month.
I contacted our company benefits person who basically said contact BCBS. I
did and after a reminder phone call, and three weeks, they responded. The
director of the pharmaceutical department (Ronald White, Tulsa) told me to
write a letter asking for a re-evaluation. I wrote the letter, mailed it
yesterday. I copied Becton Dickinson and Medtronic on the letter. In the
letter I basically said, all the blood glucose meters I am aware of, give
away a free meter when you buy the test strips. BD Logic sent me two free
meters. Ultra sent me 3, FastTake also sent me free meters, etc. You get
the drift. So, giving diabetics a free pump should not be criteria in
calling one kind of strip "PREFERRED". There is no "generic" test strip.
The contract cost of the two ULTRA & BD Logic are both $240 in my contract.
But one cost me $564 MORE annually.
Does anyone have any similar experience with Blue Cross, and if so how did
it get resolved? Your helpful comments would be appreciated! I can always
write another follow-up letter. Thank you.
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