MIL out of insulin (mail) and has no money for $400.00 Donut Gap cost. What to do? - AgingCare.com

MIL out of insulin (mail) and has no money for $400.00 Donut Gap cost. What to do?

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Don't want this to become an emergency. Either the company didn't tell her or she didn't understand she is in the GAP. No secondary ins. No part D. No family that can help with that much money. She won't even have it after she gets her check because other family members put her in debt and house problems are taking it all. Husband and I are trying to help get things straightened out again but we don't know about this 'GAP', part D, or even secondary ins. This is all a learning experience on a very fast pace! We are trying to get hold of her DR. The ER is a last resort. We don't know much about the insilin except its a blue pen. All she tells us is she'll be fine. Worried to say the least.

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Just be sure to check her blood sugar before eating and 2 hours after and before bedtime. It should stay around 140-150 depending on what her doctor said. Watch out giving her high carb foods, white potatoes, candy, cookies, bread, anything sweetened with sugar and too much fruit. Be sure she drinks plenty of water. Good luck.
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Sounds like you are handling things just fine, Phoenix.

Insulin is VERY expensive. It is a financial burden even if you have excellent insurance coverage.

The Medicare gap (so-called donut hole) is CRAZY!! And what did the great minds of Congress do to solve it when they finally couldn't ignore it? Started phasing it out in dribs and drabs over several years. Grrrrr ....

Neither of those comments helps resolve your issue, but I just picked up my own insulin supply and I needed to vent a little.
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Yes, as others have said, don't rely on the color!!! My husband is a Type 1 diabetic and actually has two blue pens. One is Levemir and the other is Humalog. One is just a darker blue than the other. We had a issue a while back when my husband switched jobs. (Regarding his insurance plan, he is on a mail order, and they didn't get the new order in correctly, so it never arrived) You may have to call 911..if that is the case, the paramedics should check her blood sugar, and will give her a dose of insulin on the spot, then leave. The only problem is, if they don't take her to the hospital, then you will have to call the paramedics every 4 hours, or however often she takes it. Luckily, we only had one issue during the night, and could resolve everything the following day. It is a very scary thing, and money is an issue for most people. I would be worried too. Let us know how everything goes!!
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Thank you everyone for your help. My husband and I live with his Mom so she isn't alone thank goodness but she insists she can take care of everything and doesn't want or need help with her things then we end up in situations like this. We found out she takes two kinds and is out of just one kind. She has agreed to let us take her to the ER if needed. She said the DR said she's ok at least til tomorrow but not sure she really called him and she won't let us. We are watching her closely and know what signs to look for. She does do good with her diet so that's a plus. There is no credit cards for any of us so paying for the medicine before the third will be an issue. Things are touchy and we know she isn't a child, she seems to know what's going on around here fairly well but we are noticing there is more she doesn't completely understand or thinks "well it's not really like that". Please keep us in your prayers. We know we are just starting on a long journey.
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I just checked my mother's Levemir. The pen is green & black, so it is the one that doesn't come in blue. Thanks, Eyerish, for saying something.
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Novolog also comes in a blue pen. I think Lantus does too. You can't get the insulin you need based upon the color of the pen.
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If anyone has a credit card, get the insulin. It sounds like Levemir. You'll need to get someone to phone in a prescription. The insulin is more important than any other debt that needs tending to.

Which Medicare program is your MIL on? I find the Advantage programs, e.g. Blue Advantage or Humana, are the best. Prescription drug coverage is included with the programs. If your MIL is not on a good program, see about switching her over. My mother has Blue Advantage, which has been very good.

I've always been a bit skittish about the diabetes supplies and medicines through the mail. I prefer to have a relationship with a local pharmacist. They can help out a lot in situations such as this. Without the help of the pharmacist, the only thing I can think of is to get the prescription from a doctor, then pay out of pocket on your credit card. Not getting the insulin is not an option.
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No one has a credit card? Wait. Are you even near a pharmacy that is open.

What about an RN that can prescribe? What about an RN that can get a doctor to call in the script?

How about Urgent Care? Take all of her records with you. I think the money is going to be the biggest problem.
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Continue to try to reach her doctor, but tell the answering service it's an emergency. Tell them you need a script for insulin ASAP, then get it filled for her.

You can call various pharmacies while you're waiting for the doctor's return call to ensure that they're open today.

And stay with her for several hours to make sure she's stable.

All of the Part D and GAP issues are secondary to getting her insulin ASAP.

If you can't get to the doctor, do in fact take her to the ER, not as a last but as a secondary resort. But I wouldn't wait longer than 1/2 or maybe even an hour as you prepare to pick her up for a trip to the ER.

You don't know how long she's been w/o insulin and don't want to risk a catastrophic event.

As as to Part D, I did a lot of research and break-even analysis before deciding Part D coverage would cost us more than just comparison shopping.

I would also investigate what the real reason is for her not having insulin - perhaps she just didn't realize she needed it, but take action to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Good luck - I hope you get some results ASAP!
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Let's sit down and get the big picture. If she pays the debt and the house, but dies from lack of insulin, does this make sense? Someone needs to sort out her priorities really fast. Her doctor can't fix financial problems. You may have to take financial control immediately or ask the county office of the aging to assign a social worker to her.
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