As I was perusing things health related, I came across the US Department of Labor’s webpage on The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). As I was looking things over, the Uniform Glossary of Coverage and Medical Terms caught my eye. Glossaries can be interesting things so I looked a little closer and the the definition of Durable Medical Equipment (DME) coverage caught my eye. It reads (italics mine)
Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
Equipment and supplies ordered by a health care provider for everyday or extended use. Coverage for DME may include: oxygen equipment, wheelchairs, crutches or blood testing strips for diabetics.
Now documents like these tend to become statute (i.e. Law of the Land), so seeing test strips in there really concerns me. Plans that I am aware of all have test strips as prescription items. And honestly, I always found that odd as they seem to fall more into the category of medical supplies. Medical supplies, by the way, are subject to the maximum out of pocket expenses limit of my plan, where there is no maximum for prescription items. So there is a way that insurance has leveraged test strips to cost me more.
Personally, my DME coverage is limited to 3,000USD per year, where my prescription coverage is not. That is an absolute limit, my maximum out of pocket does not apply to DME items. Looking at things, it appears I would bear the full cost of test strips around the end of summer. Unless of course, I need a new pump or CGMS which would cause that date to arrive much earlier in the year.
Combine this with the fact that flexible spending accounts are being limited to 2,500USD in 2013, I am not only looking at an huge additional cost burden but also an additional tax burden.
There are several things in Obamacare that I think are needed, such as no pre-existing condition exclusions, but there are even more, such as this one, that concern me greatly.
What the hell else is in here that people haven’t noticed yet?
©2011 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and http://StrangelyDiabetic.com