Monday, December 08, 2008

An Early Present

Here we are coming to the end of the year, and what have I been doing?

Stressing about money.

Money for our property taxes, money for Joseph's orthodontia, miscellaneous medical bills, our insurance premiums, CHRISTMAS...

Money for a new insulin pump.

That's right, Joseph's current pump will soon be out of warranty-- and given our history, there's no way we can afford to be without a warranty. Thus, we have to choose a new pump and purchase it before the end of this month.

After much discussion -- and a brief look at the competition -- we've decided to stay with Animas.

Initially I had some reservations about this decision, but we have gotten excellent customer service and Joseph does indeed love his current pump.

And we're all very much intrigued by the new OneTouch Ping system.

This latest technology from Animas includes a glucose meter that is able to wirelessly communicate with the pump.

You can actually operate the pump from the meter.

What exactly does this mean?

Well, for us it means that when we check Joseph's blood sugar every two hours overnight and have to give him a correction when he's high or decrease his basal insulin when he's low, we won't have to:

  • Pull back his blankets;
  • Roll him over (if he happens to be lying on his pump case);
  • Remove his pump while untangling his tubing (which always seems to be wrapped around the clip on his case);
  • Give a bolus or change his basals while keeping one eye on the pump, the other on Joseph (because any sudden move can easily rip out his infusion set);
  • Maneuver the pump back into it's case as Joseph flails about in his sleep and then rolls once again on top of said case.
Nope, we won't have to do any of the above.

Rock. On.

Ahhh, but there's more...

No, not about the Ping-- but rather, about paying for the Ping.

While we have insurance and have met our deductible for the year, unfortunately, we're still left with a 10% coinsurance payment.

Something like $660.

Uh huh, this is where the stress part comes in.

Or maybe not.

I got a call last Wednesday afternoon from Animas.

"Sandra, we're still waiting for prior authorization from your insurance company, however, we were able to verify your benefits. It looks like you have a 100% benefit."

"Excuse me?"

"A 100% benefit."

"Really?... Seriously?"

"Yes, you see- "

"But wait-- how can that be? Our insurance covers 90% once our deductible is met. I don't understand."

"Well, it looks like you've also met your family's annual out-of-pocket maximum."

"Holy Cripes! Then you are serious."

And now I'm up out of my chair.

"You've just given us an early Christmas present, you know that? This is AWESOME!!!"

The minute I hang up the phone, I'm punching in another number.

"Ryan? Honey, we're getting the Ping for Joseph-- and it's not gonna cost a thing! Can you believe it?!"

I still can't.