Moving Your Diabetes to a New State

When the ebb and flow of life pushes you to move to a different state, you can't leave your diabetes behind. It's coming with you. Here's how Peg Abernathy dealt with moving her diabetes to a new state. 

This Just Happened To Me. 

I recently moved from California to North Carolina and of course, I had to take my type 1 diabetes care with me.

If you’re like me, most times, basic vacation or even short travel can throw my body for a loop and I usually find myself with erratic numbers for a lot of the time. At least for the first day or two. But a permanent move? That’s another story. And I was not looking forward to this.

Details. Details. Details.

The mere thought of starting over with my entire diabetes care in another state is daunting at best. For just my diabetes care alone I’d need all new doctors, a new pharmacy, new health insurance, and on-going prescriptions, referrals, pre-authorizations, benefit checks, all of which are already a challenge (or nightmare if I’m being truly honest here) to coordinate, are now requiring me to start from scratch. Uh Oh.

Once I found out that the move was definitely going to happen, I set a frenzied plan into motion. 

One of the things that I immediately realized is that I had to be totally prepared and armed with recent labs, referrals and paper prescriptions, all of this requiring me to quickly make appointments with my current healthcare teams. I was off to the races.

When I found myself in front of my current team, I was ready with my questions written down and in my hand. Here’s what was on my list.

Before You Move

  1. Ask if they have a colleague or professional relationship with someone in your new town. I got lucky with this one. One of my health providers is a good friend of someone I was going to try to see in my new town. – “Just have him text me if he has any questions, Peg”. Wow! Bingo. I was in.

  2. Get current paper prescriptions from your team and ask them, if possible, to make it for as far out as possible in case there is a delay in getting your on-going supplies. This could be due to the move itself, change of insurance, etc. Be careful! Check with the pharmacy in your new state to make sure that they will accept an out of state prescription-just to be sure.

  3. Try to get as many of your prescriptions filled as possible, even if you don’t need them yet. Back up supplies are key here. 

  4. If at all possible, check with your new insurance carrier to find out if the doctor you would like to see is in-network. This is critical...unless you don’t care if you get a huge “out of network” surprise after your visit.

  5. Start the search process for a new team. I know, this is so stressful, but it has to be done so get to it as soon as you can, before you even move. Don’t put this off. 

  6. Check out where the hospitals and emergency rooms are in your new area.

  7. Figure out how you are going to be able to transport your current supplies to your new state, keeping in mind that many are temperature sensitive and/or fragile.

  8. Make a current list of all your medications and their doses/strengths for your new healthcare team and print out a hard copy of every single diabetes equipment and RX that you use (including any other medical needs). This can be put in your file or entered electronically by the intake person. 

  9. Get a letter from your current health insurance company or some kind of verification of coverage so that you don’t have the dreaded lapse-in-coverage debacle.

  10. Stay calm and …..

Don’t Panic!

I understand. You have your diabetes routine down pat (as best you can anyway) and change is HARD. But remember that your new normal will soon become routine as well. You CAN do this. I know because I just did. On we go…

About Peg Abernathy:

Peg Abernathy is a writer, activist and spokesperson for diabetes awareness, education and legislative reform. Her media work includes four years as a contributing diabetes columnist on The Huffington Post and three years as producer, writer and on-air talent, Sirius Radio, The Lime Network. Her diabetes sales and sales training corporate career includes early tenure at two successful insulin pump start-ups as well as various blood glucose monitoring companies. She has also served as a consultant in the diabetic retinopathy space. Ms. Abernathy is a current member of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Community Leadership Board, Los Angeles, California and former Chair of the ADA Advocacy Committee, Los Angeles. 

Follow her on twitter: @diabetesmedia 

Posted in Blog, Guest Authors, Tips, Your Health Care Team

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