Strip Tease

About a week ago at CVS:

CVS: Your insurance company will not cover this prescription. They will cover six strips a day and your son’s prescription is written for ten strips per day. Your doctor needs to provide what is called a prior authorization form. That will allow your son to have coverage for ten strips per day.

BIGFOOT: Oh. Hmmm. Well, while we wait for that authorization, maybe could I pick up the six per day that are covered, and then I’ll pick the rest up later on?

CVS: Actually, no, because it isn’t safe for your son to use a prescription in a way other than how his doctor ordered it.

BIGFOOT: Oh, but these are test strips. For testing blood sugar. He has diabetes.

CVS: We can only dispense a prescription the way the physician has written it.

BFOOT: But it’s written that he should test ten times a day, so wouldn’t it be closer to the doctor’s order to test six times instead of zero times?

CVS: No. It is not considered safe to use a prescription in a way other than how it was prescribed by a medical doctor.

BF: Seeeeriously?

CVS: Right. We can’t release any of the strips to you until your son’s doctor rewrites the prescription.

BF: So we get zero?

CVS: Right.

BF: Really zero—zero strips?

CVS: Yes, but we will text you as soon as we’ve heard from your doctor.





ENDO: All of our kids on pumps get approved for ten test strips a day. My office already sent the authorization form to your pharmacy. This happens all of the time. This will be no problem.

BF: Yay!

At CVS a few days later…

BF SPOUSE: Hi! I think my son’s prescription for test strips must be ready for pick up.

CVS: Name? Date of birth, just month and day? (Clackety clackety clack.) No. There’s nothing here in terms of test strips. But the Flonase is ready. And I can have the vitamin D ready in fifteen minutes.

BF SPOUSE: Our son’s endocrinologist sent over the prior authorization for his test strips a few days ago.

CVS: Oh, yes, we got that prior authorization form back from the doctor. But the insurance company is refusing to cover the strips because strips are available over the counter.


CVS: Huh. But they were always over the counter, and they’ve always covered them before, so this is dumb.

BF SPOUSE: So what do we do to get the strips?

CVS: I will take care of it and we will text you as soon as it’s ready.

BF SPOUSE: I will go buy pepper jack cheese and offer to make nachos for my sad wife. Good day.


In my current ungrateful, knocked-down frame of mind, I have questions:

Is ten strips is too many, OR is any amount too many? JUST CHOOSE.

And this: it is September, so we used up our deductible eons ago. You have been paying glorious sums monthly for the same things over and over and over again. Is your switch-rules-up time January or all of the time?

Please settle into an internal logic of your own choosing. Like test strips, Vitamin D and Flonase are also available OTC. WTF.

Apology gifts for anguish caused could be six million dollars, Smartwool over-the-kneesocks, or one of those caramel apples covered in layers of chocolate and nuts.

DAYS-LATER: Update for future me.

BCBS said it was “a glitch in their system.” They took care of the glitch within 12 hours and we are covered for 300 strips/month for a jackpot price of $3. YAY.

I love how when BCBS makes a mistake, they own up to it and fix it immediately.

Meanwhile, poor CVS was just following its own policies/probably FDA rules.



  1. Laddie · September 13, 2015

    So sorry you’re dealing with this:-(


  2. skchrisman · September 14, 2015

    I do not know what to say to this CVS crapfest! Our local private pharm went out of business because of the likes of CVS and Walgreens, but settled on transferring all of their business to Walgreens because they are easier. These stories happen far to often. 😦


    • skchrisman · September 14, 2015

      too often. must Zzzzzz.


  3. Anonymous · September 14, 2015

    JUST CHOOSE. <– 🙂


  4. mollyjade · September 14, 2015

    CVS is the worst.


  5. Desiree · September 14, 2015

    My son was just diagnosed two months ago. We just ordered first months supply last month and be did CVS mess up everything. Adult size needles
    Instead of kid size, ketone strips instead of blood glucose. 90 day supply mind you they will go bad before I use 500 ketone strips – and a double order of insulin – one I picked up the other they sent to me in mail order. As a newly diagnosed parent of a child my mind was already reeling and apparently pharmacies don’t make mistakes so I get to pay for their mistakes since none of the things can be returned. Definitely switching – deciding what company is easier to work with besides CVS. Life with diabetes is hard enough – little things like daily living supplies should not be so complicated.


  6. Anonymous · September 15, 2015

    Been through this exact same thing. It’s so frustrating. Rules change arbitrarily it seems…and yes, just what possible danger could there be in test strips? Paper cuts??? The danger is in NOT having them!


  7. Karen · September 15, 2015

    Oh this just pisses me off. However, the next time it happens to me, I want my husband to make nachos for his sad wife too . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jeff · September 21, 2015

    Now whenever I go to CVS to refill my prescriptions–and I’ve never had a problem with BCBS of MA for them–I’m going to crave nachos. Thanks.


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