Bob, thanks for the explanation. But I am still shaking my head. The very fact that insurance companies have limits on the amount of products you can buy, and that you need to get your doctor to approve an increase is just wrong. As you said, you could put anything on the form your doctor has to sign, so isn't that a waste of her time? She is signing based on what you tell her you need, therefore YOU are determining your needs, as it should be. Your insurance company makes you jump through an extra hoop just because they can. It's one thing to get a doctors signature on a form requesting medications - OK, fine, I get that. But ostomy supplies? Seriously? Can you OD on those?
I have no limits on what products or how much I buy - my private insurance will pay for it, no questions or doctor approval required. By the way, my private insurance, which is optional, costs just under $260 per month for family coverage. It even covers my 30 year old son, because he is still a full time student. It covers all prescription drugs, glasses, ostomy supplies, physiotherapist, massage therapy, hearing aids, assistive devices (walkers, canes, etc) psychologist or social worker counselling, orthotics, access to Cancer CarePath (a cancer navigation agency that saved my sanity), and out of country travel insurance. We could choose dental coverage as an option, but since we all have good teeth, decided to pay out of pocket for dental, although we can opt in anytime. And, as I said, my healthcare (doctor visits or hospitalization) is entirely free.
While I think our system is good, it is not as good as the British National Health Service. I think it's helpful, especially in an election year, to look around the world and see what exists outside one's own borders. Knowing what the standards are in the rest of the world can help define what your standards at home could be.