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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Big Medicine

It feels like I've been whining about being sick for days now but I'm still not 100% well and I feel like pewp so please try to muster enough sympathy toput up with me for a little longer.

When I was talking about the cost to my health from not only getting pneumonia (and waiting entirely too long to go to the doctor) but having a reaction to the antibiotics I was prescribed I forgot to mention another big cost of being sick.

The financial one!

Other than the occasional mild cold I don't get sick often so it's never been a big deal to me whether I had insurance or not.

In the past few years that's changed. Being diagnosed with Hypothyroid in 2004(ish) and PCOS this past year, recurring doctors visits and ongoing prescriptions have become a way of life. Let me tell you, for someone who can't even remember to take a multi-vitamin having to take a pill or two every single day at certain times of day is a pain in the arse!

I have my med bottles on my night stand right in front of my alarm clock so when the alarm goes off I have to physically touch and move the bottles to see what time it is. I've found (through trial and error ie. forgetting to take them) that it's the only way I'm garanteed to remember to take my meds.

So back to cost. I'm all about the price matching. Walmart has like a billion or something prescriptions that are on a $4 list. My thyroid script is on that list! However RiteAid is my regular pharmacy but lucky for me they price match. So I leave the doctor office Wednesday and call Walmart to see how much their cost for the two prescriptions I'd been given would be.

If you're eating or drinking please stop now. I don't want to be responsible for anyone choking or spitting all over their screen.

Antibiotic - $137.00
Cough Syrup - $189.00

I don't remember the exact change so I just rounded. But when you're talking that kind of money a few cents is nothing.

People, I make OK money but I by no means at any time EVER have a few hundred extra dollars floating around in my bank account. That will all change as soon as those mother@#$%^$Q's from Publisher's Clearinghouse finally show up at my door. But I digress.

So for the average uninsured Joe we're talking about $326 for medication. That's only like $40 less than my car note!!

If this was just a bug or virus I've had said, and with a quickness, SCREW THAT! But we're talking pneumonia here. I had no desire to end up in the hospital with tubes in my nose, arms and any other orifice they might decide needed plugging.

After I hung up the phone, stopped choking and remembered how to breath I thought to myself Thank God I have insurance now!! I have BlueCross BlueShield. It's pretty decent coverage. Granted I've not been insured all that much in my working career to be able to compare but it's covered me pretty well so far. Any time I need to go to the doc all I'm out of pocket is a $20 copay then they pick up the rest and honey if you've seen some of my EOB's lately you'd agree that I'm making out like a champ!

My pharmacy program isn't quite as cheap. For brand name meds I pay either a $30 or $45 copay and for generic it's $15 or $25 I think.

Lucky me neither of the meds I was prescribed came in generic so I ended up begrudgingly handing the cashier a check for $75! Then there was the $20 copay for the office visit and the new meds I had to have called in because I ended up having a reaction to the first ones. Getting sick is a drain.. in more ways that one!

I'm usually pretty good about balancing my check book (other than the Stimulus pay fiasco) but I'm not sure I have the money I spent on office visits and meds in my account at the moment and I have to be honest I'm super tempted to go do one of those fast cash payday loan things.

There's only about 234234 different companies that will loan you money today for emergency cases then you pay it back on your next pay day. Of course the only potential problem with these programs is, if you don't have the extra money you need now you're not likely to have it then and you get stuck in a cycle of paying them back then rewriting to cover the money you're out paying what you borrowed plus their fee until you get a break and can finally pay them back for good.

Yes, I'm speaking from experience. I had a roommate last year not pay her part of the bills and I ended up in a check advance circle of borrow, pay, borrow to pay, etc for about 6 months. I can't tell you the relief you feel when they ask all cheerful and smiling "Are you rewriting today?" and you can tell them NOPE I'm done! Thank you!

Thankfully I'm making a decent little bit of extra cash on the side doing blogging reviews and I have an expense reimbursement check coming in this week from work so I might end up being OK. If not there's always donating plasma again.. EEK!

I can pretty much promise I'm done whining about being sick. I apologize for bending your ear or er uh eye but thank you for being patient and understanding.
Musings of a "Crazy Cat Lady" shall return to her normal entertaining, thought provoking blog stylings after these messages from your local pharmaceutical manafacturer.
>Picture most current medication commercial here - note possible side effects often outweigh benefit received by taking medication<>

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