Monday, June 28, 2010

HOW Much Does This Class Cost? Is It Covered By My Insurance?

Wrestling with the insurance company to get them to pay for things is always fun. Some pharmacies offer a discount when you buy a ninety day supply but when your insurance will only pay for 45 or 60 what can you do? Probably what I'm having to do; deal with it. Maybe if I lose enough weight I can eventually control my diabetes with diet and exercise and won't have to take Glimepiride any more. I can hope. I'll still have to buy those expensive testing supplies. I can't help but laugh when people talk about national health care and decry "allowing some bureaucrat to come between me and my doctor" when the insurance companies already are. I understand these companies are in business to make a profit. I also understand doctor's offices and hospitals are run more like a business and less about making us well. There is nothing wrong with making a profit as long as you are offering a quality product or service and are taking good care of one's customers.

There, off my soap box.

My doctor recommended I take a diabetes education class offered by a local hospital taught by a registered dietician. The class was very informative and a I learned quite a bit in the two four hour sessions my support person, Ellen, and I attended.

Imagine my surprise when I received a bill from the hospital stating the charge for the class was over twelve hundred dollars! My insurance company paid a bit over seven hundred, the value they placed on the class, leaving me to pay the balance. Yes, I paid, and now looking back I don't think I should have because even with a registered dietician and nurse and the literature they gave us, I don't think it was worth that much. I could probably have learned to read nutrition labels from books at the library and some of the materials offered are available online for free! It was good and professional information but for that much I could have taken an entire semester at a local two-year college. I feel gypped.

Ask me if I would ever go back to that hospital. Not without knowing about the cost upfront I won't.

Disclaimer: This is my personal experience and my own opinions. I'm not trying to treat or diagnose anything and the opinions I express are my own. This is all conjecture. I'm learning as a go so forgive any inaccuracies. This is a way for me to cope and focus my emotions into something positive. If you read this and recognize yourself in anything I've written about, please, talk to your doctor. Read some books. And never be afraid to scream, cry, or yes, laugh about being a diabetic. I'm going to.


  1. Wow, that IS a gyp! But at least you wrote about it. Now people who have similar cases like you can learn from this experience and try to avoid it from happening. But man, they should at least tell you how much it'll cost if you take those classes! It's horrible that they tell you last minute!

    - Emily Nguyen

  2. oh yes whole heartily agree with Emily, that is some good advice there, A lot of people who think this is paid for by insurance, will at least get heads up now. I know my Mom has same thought that the hospital was covered by her insurance AARP cause they like you to go to them classes and Medicare, when you get a bill in the mail saying you owe? It's like WOW! Glimepiride is not cheap, I think there is one that cost more than that one, but you think with Millions of people who are diabetic, they would come up with a less expensive drug.