Epinephrine Epiphany Part 2

Epipen Epinephrine junior auto injector out of case

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Healthcare Headaches

Epipen Epinephrine junior auto injector out of case
  • What: Epipen allergy medication
  • When: Refilling our prescription
  • Why: Severe nut allergies
  • Where: Our home

So it’s Monday, which means three more days have passed and I can call and hassle our health insurance company about getting our son’s Epipen prescription refilled. Did I mention we leave the country in about a week, which is why I wanted to have current prescriptions with us for our travels? His old Epipens, which we carry everywhere as well as having one at home and one at school at all times, have expired. I want to replace them, but it isn’t easy.

Expired epipen epinephrine boxes on top of my fridge
I keep one box of Epipens on top of our fridge and never move them so we don’t have to waste precious seconds searching for the medication in case of an allergic reaction. You can see two expired boxes here. (The empty one contained the injectors I carry with us everywhere.)

Our pharmacist recommended we call our insurance company to get the brand name Epipen refill preauthorized. The insurance company has no idea what we’re talking about. They say Epipen not only isn’t on their list of medications that need preauthorization before I can have the prescription filled. But they also need the procedure code, which is not included with all the other information I got from the pharmacist (and had enough sense to write down).

Epipen Jr injector in case
Two Epipens travel with us everywhere we go in their plastic holder for easy access.

So my husband, who was kind enough to make all these phone calls as I had three kids demanding constant attention, called the pharmacy. It turns out the pharmacy sends the pre-authorization to the doctor’s office, not the insurance company. The doctor then handles the insurance issues. He made yet another (our fourth, or maybe fifth? I’ve lost track now.) phone call to our pediatrician’s office, and they did not have a pre-authorization request. Another phone call to the pharmacy and it turns out they’d sent the pre-authorization to my child’s allergy specialist physician, who we can’t get into to see for two more months. My husband sorted that out and had the pharmacy call the pediatrician instead, who once again has the ball in their court. In theory, they should get back to us in a few days after they talk to the insurance company.

But I’m not holding my breath. I’ll keep you posted.

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