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As soon as I got the call from College Diabetes Network telling me that I had been selected for the position of Program Assistant in April 2019, my first response was, of course, yes! I’m so excited!
After I hung up, my second thought was about insurance. I immediately Googled whether or not my parents’ insurance provider would still cover me when I would make the move from Baltimore to Boston. My heart sank a little when I realized that there were no Kaiser Permanente (my parents’ insurer) offices anywhere near Massachusetts, and I would have to get insurance on my own. Like a decent amount of 23-year-olds, I was fully intending on cruising on at least two more years of my parents’ insurance, maybe starting to look into things at 25.
Luckily, CDN is great with health insurance (among many other things!), and I was put in contact with one of my soon-to-be colleagues who also has diabetes, and she mentioned the plan she was on, which helped immensely, and I was also able to see the plan breakdown even before I moved up to Boston, which relieved my stress (and I’m sure my parents’ too!) about it.
Preparing for such a big move in such a short amount of time was overwhelming, to say the least -- I was quitting one full-time job, a part-time job, and leaving the only state I’ve ever lived in. I had to find a place to live that wasn’t too far out of budget, and pack up everything from my room in my apartment in Baltimore, as well as my room in the house I grew up in. The week prior, I ordered as much of my medication as my pharmacy would allow to last me until I could transition onto CDN’s health insurance. I packed up about six or seven vials of insulin into a cooler, hoping that it would last the seven-hour drive from Baltimore to Boston in the June heat. (Spoiler alert, or, I guess more accurately, unspoiler alert: it did.)
Fast forward to (as of the writing of this blog) my fourth month at CDN, and I’m still making my way through doctor’s appointments after having met with my primary care physician in August to get all of the referrals I needed.
As of the writing of this blog, I’ve been a Program Assistant at CDN for four months, and even though I’m fully insured with CDN, to no one’s surprise, it’s been an uphill battle with insurance, to say the least. I’m still technically on my parents’ insurance, even though I don’t really use it, so completing the transition from one pump to another has been quite the game of email tag between being trained back at home in Maryland, and transferring that to Massachusetts.
Having said that, I’m just thankful that my new pump is covered by my insurance here at CDN. Otherwise, I would’ve been starting from scratch.
Once you get in the swing of things, changing insurance plans/providers is stressful, but not the worst. It definitely sped up my process of “adulting,” which is probably a good thing in the end -- it has to happen some time!