Meds and More

I have a little bit of a story to tell you about two experiences I’ve had recently when getting my medication.  Some time ago I told you about getting prescription medication cheaper.  Read the blog post here.  I’ve had lots of readers read the post and then tell me that it worked for them and the savings on their medication was awesome.

Here’s what happened to me recently.  I take Crestor.  I was getting my prescription filled like I always have in the past.  I had my coupon in hand and showed them but alas…the  clerk told me my meds were $240 or so crazy number like that.  I was shocked.  It had never cost that much before-  What was going on?  I asked them to run the coupon.  They said they had.  I asked if had been run through our insurance.  They said it had.  WHAT…what was the change?  I said I was sorry and wasn’t paying that price.  The pharmacist came out and started talking to me.  After some talking she said that insurance companies can change their policies on what they do and don’t pay for.  She suggested maybe I try a generic.

Well years ago I had tried a generic.  It was more expensive than the Crestor with the coupon.  I told the pharmacist that was fine to try a generic and to please look up the cost.  Of course they couldn’t tell me the “for sure” price until they billed my insurance.  I told them to run it and see.  Can you believe it was now only $25?  AHHH…how annoying.

I guess I learned my lesson…Keep checking on drug prices.  Use coupons when I can but they aren’t always the best option.

Fast forward to last week.  I had my appointment with my diabetic educator.  She was asking me if my Metforman was hard for me to remember to take as there was an alternate form that could be taken once a day rather than twice and it was a slow release form.

She then cautioned me that for some insurances it cost more money.  Well I was going to get meds anyway so I asked the pharmacist assistant.  I was told they can’t tell me the price unless I had a prescription and it was ran through insurance.  UGH.  How can I be an informed shopper if I don’t know a price?  How can I manage my health care?  It was frustrating.  I asked the gal again.  She told me the same again.  The pharmacist came out to talk to me and said that the new option is a $4 medication now so it would be cheaper than the $40 I was paying now.

Again I saw the same lesson…Keep checking on drug prices. It’s not a lot but I surely would rather pay $4 vs the $40.

meds-1

Remember my nasty cold?  Well it morphed into sinus infection.  UGH!  I messaged my doctor who I had seen a couple weeks ago.  She told me that she’d fill a prescription without seeing me being I had recently been in.  Well Augmentin is what they give me for sinus infection.  If you’re like me, you know what that means.  LOTS of yogurt, probiotic and eventually at the end of the prescription, yeast infection.  It happens to me EVERY time.

I had recently talked to one of the girls and they said there is a prescription to take to avoid the yeast infection.  Hallelujah!  So, I asked my doc for a prescription for that too…and I got it!  I am so happy.  This is it….one pill and hopefully no yeast infection.  I’m still eating yogurt like a trooper.

meds-2

I am THRILLED.  It was cheap at the pharmacy too!  Cheaper than the yeast infection treatment.

So…I know this is all lots of personal information…possibly too much but I know many of you have trouble paying for medication or simply want to pay less for it.  I also know there are lots of you like me who get yeast infection when taking antibiotics.  I’m hoping by sharing my experience it might save you some money or some pain….

If any of you have something to share that might be helpful regarding medical care, please pass along the information in the comment section.  Had I know that I could avoid yeast infection of that insurance companies can change coverage of medicines sooner I would have been so happy.

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24 thoughts on “Meds and More

  1. Nan V.

    It’s a constant battle with prescriptions, isn’t it? BTW, keep an eye on your blood sugar since you’re changing to the slow release form of Metformin. When my husband did that, his A1C went way up. For him, the twice a day version controlled his sugar better. Don’t assume that since it’s the same drug, nothing will change. Might be better, might be worse.

  2. Kim LeMere

    Good information for all of us. I must admit that navigating our health insurance and drug cost is taking up more time than I wish to spend on it. Here we are in a new year and another health plan….I’m grateful that we have coverage but its still a stuggle to stay on top of all the cost changes. Guess we all need to be better advocates for our selves.

  3. Myrna Roy

    Now that there is a generic version of Crestor, the pharmacy says they have to give the generic unless the doctor specifies no substitution on the prescription. My husband’s generic costs $30 after insurance. The Crestor was $15, then $3 with the coupon.

  4. Cindy Petko

    Just getting over the horrid yeast infection from antibiotics ! I too take Crestor and the first generics they tried on me gave me diarrhea and an upset stomach ! I’m trying another generic and hoping for better results ! Crestor prices are outrageous now that there is a generic available , it’s about $95 a month now! I hope you have better luck with your diabetes drugs, I heard they are increasing in price dramatically !

  5. PattiLynn9

    For me: If I want the price of a med, I call the number on my ins. RX card. They’ll give me the cost to have filled at a preferred and at a non-preferred pharmacy. My preferred pharmacies are numerous, Wal-Mart, Walgreen, CVS etc. All located close to me. I’ve had the reps tell me info re: generic drugs too. It’s worth a try if you run into roadblocks again.

    Oh, the Fluconazole – I’m allergic!

  6. Ana Sweet

    Just had a frustrating experience. Went for a $49 heart scan and paid immediately which is a requirement. I wanted concrete info to determine if statins are necessary. Got a terrific score, zero calcium. So I told doctor no statins. Then I get a $186 bill. No way. Of course customer service is closed. So I sent email to the hospital, wrote a negative Facebook post, etc. Next day called customer service who was less than helpful but finally grudgingly decided their bill might be wrong and should be fixed. Then right after that, the hospital called to apologize and discuss as a result of my very clear and frustrated email. The manager said it was clearly an error and would issue me a letter and zero balance due. You have to check and recheck everything.

  7. Jen

    My folks have started ordering prescriptions from Canada. My dad was paying something like 151.00 for 90 days for the same thing ordered from Canada that cost 51.00 for 100 days. I read something awhile back that says the FDA doesn’t create cures….they create customers..and I am starting to think there’s a lot of truth in that.

  8. Janet

    Im sorry to hear of all these medications problems…My husband take metformin also….We found we had to tweek things till we got a good dosage for him but it’s still the best medicine for him……..We have a drug plan with our health insurance

  9. Connie

    * I went back and reread, the first blog post on the medications. It has been my experience, that if you talk to your about the frustration of the prices, they will write the scripts for 90 days if that makes it cheaper for you. Even if you are only taking 1/2 a pill at a time.
    * With my insurance, if I go to a local pharmacy I can get 34 days for $10. But if I use my insurance company’s mail order, I can get 90 days at a time for no cost!
    *Also, compare pharmacies, They don’t all charge the same price for medications.

  10. Melissa

    Doctors receive lots and lots of free samples from pharmaceutical salesmen. So when my doctor prescribes a new drug he always gives me One or two months of free samples. I take those to ensure there are no side effects before I fill the new prescription.

  11. Michelle

    Earlier this week I spent two hours standing at Target to get a prescription filled. We’d been going around for over a week between the doctor’s office and the pharmacy and the other pharmacy that they said they submitted it to by mistake….and after all of that the INSURANCE COMPANY rewrote the prescription, from taking one pill twice a day to a stronger pill once a day. Which caused a bad reaction and is why the prescription was written that way in the first place.

    It’s not just the price of the pills that’s important. Warfarin is dirt cheap. I was having trouble with it and my doctor at the time told me that the other options were way too expensive to consider. So I kept taking the cheap pills and paying $140 a month to get my INR levels checked (insurance considers it some kind of specialty appointment so it’s all out of pocket til we hit the high deductible.) It turns out the the Xarelto is $400 a month, insurance covers all but $40 for a three month supply, and the manufacturer has a coupon that covers the rest. So instead of the $1500 a year the cheap generic cost us, the expensive option is completely covered. Except for annual blood work, but I have to do that with either option.

  12. Robby

    Our local news recently reported that if your meds are really expensive even after insurance, ask your pharmacy to rerun the prescription without your insurance and see how much it costs. Sometimes, because of balancing all their costs and contracts, post insurance price to you is greater than the pharmacy cost. Crazy, but worth asking.

  13. Conny

    When you are on antibiotics don’t eat ANY sugar, that includes fruit. Sugar feeds yeast. You can usually avoid a yeast infection by avoiding all sugar.

  14. Brenda E.

    It is nice to know that others have issues also! Each member in my family has had issues one time or another with meds even my mother who is a nurse. Insurance companies run our care now and you can tell costs are going up and care is going down. i was on a very expensive med for three years($90 month) then had change in insurer and they would not approve until I was on a different one(cheaper of course) for one year-guess what ended up having major issues and the following year they finally had a generic form released($25 for three months) which they covered and now everything is under control again. I had to endure one year of pain that could have developed into cancer-Barretts esophagus. I love that once in a while you go off quilting and share your own life with us.

  15. Cindy

    I was surprised to hear that they wouldn’t give you a price when you asked. I just received my first prescription in over 20 years. I called about 10 different stores and
    got a different price at each one. There was a difference of over $100 between the low and high prices. I didn’t realize all people have to go through to try and maintain their health. Thanks to you and to the people commenting for sharing.

  16. Lacefaerie

    Please be careful with that yeast medicine. It’s very hard on your liver. My years ago, my midwife suggested douching with a tablespoon of plain unsweetened yogurt. This puts the probiotics right where you need them. It changed my life, as I used to get monthly yeast iinfections.

  17. Bobi

    Thank you so much for sharing! Blessed to not be on medication and hope to stay away but really appreciate your candor in discussing topics important to many of us. Bless you and stay well!

  18. Susan

    Interesting and frustrating! I take Levothyroxine for hypothyroid. I was getting 90 tablets at Walmart for $10. Last January, I picked up my prescription and it was $22 for only 30 days. They didn’t even tell me that it was 30 days, not 90. Walmart said my prescription is no longer on their $4/10 list- even though a year later it is still listed. I went to a local pharmacy, joined their free plan, and now pay $15.99 per 90 days. My prescription plan is almost 5 times as much. I learned my lesson at Walmart that I should refill early so I have some options . So frustrating to have to do this but thankfully I am capable enough,and have access to information.

  19. Sandra

    Here in the U.K. We pay a set fee per item on prescription. It works out to be $10.33.
    As in Canada they are free after 65. Also diabetics don’t pay for any drugs they need.

  20. PamJ

    Where does one start with insurance complaints theses days. I want to wring someone’s neck !! It’s frustrating, just my medical insurance for me “only”, was around $500.00 a month in 2016 with a $6000.00 deductible, this year 2017 the cost is $998.00 a month with a $6800.00 deductible, and all kinds of different copays, my insurance changed how they filled Rx about last September, they use to fill for 90 days, in October they changed it to only 30 days. The insurance sometimes gave me a discounted price on meds, but did not cover the difference of $ 188.96 on just one Rx. The deductible is just high enough that I never meet the deductible, go figure. I have tried coupons, discounts cards the dr. gives me, but to no avail. And the insurance company wants to tell me which dr. I can go to, Not this girl !!! No one is telling me to go to some dr. that I can not even pronounce their name, when I’ve been going to the same dr.’S for umpteen years…. I tried getting meds from Canada, but couldn’t find a pharmacy that sold XR Wellbutrin in my dosage, the one that cost 188 for 30 days, has no generic till 2020. Anything else makes me puke.. My long time dr. gave me a web site http://www.goodrx.com and it does tell me what my Rx’s cost at different places. And Good Rx does have a discount card they sent me, which helps sometimes. DH is on Medicare, lucky him I guess, but he’s been thru the wringer with what his insurance will pay too. Never ever had any & all these problems with RX’s & going to my dr. of choice, and the cost of the insurance, before….. I went ballastic when the insurance company said the were charging me for maternity benefits, damn I don’t even have that plumbing anymore !!! Also be cautious with what they call “generics” and then there is the “generic alternative”… thanks Jo, I enjoy your daily posts and your quilts are just “yardeous” (my Texan slang for gorgeous) !!!!

  21. Helen

    Can anyone say OBAMACARE!! yep, it all started back then. Pharmacy companies as well as insurance companies are interested in one thing…..LINING THEIR POCKETS! Get a clue people. Do not take any drugs you don’t absolutely have to……there are always side effects! Sorry for venting. Medicine is THE biggest rip-off of our lifetime!!

  22. lauriejo

    Since Obamacare was instituted our insurance has gone to the dogs. We no longer have any prescription coverage and a $5000 deductible. I have tried several different coupon programs, but never saved much. Then last fall, after seeing a hundred commercials, I decided to give Blink Health a try. I enter the medication needed, and pay them. Then when I pick up at the drugstore it is free. On one medication alone the price went from $235 for a 30 day supply to only $25. One prescription was actually cheaper without Blink, but overall I am saving about $700 a month. Geez now I sound like a commercial myself!

  23. Cindy Dahlgren

    Medication prices are abominable. You can however go directly to the drug company at times and get special savings on medications, thank goodness. I’m on Enbrel, an injectible for Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis, of which I’m blessed to have both. The medication costs thousands a month, and I take a double dose. The company that makes it has a support program where I can get it for $10.00 a month. I’m also on a daily injection of a calcium building medication. They have a support plan for $50.00 a month, but my mail order company gives it to me for $35 a month. My husband is on disability retirement and Social Security disability. Because he gets Social Security, they deduct that amount from his retirement, which seems unfair, and his entire retirement check goes to pay for our health insurance. People don’t understand why we’re so broke and have to go to the food cupboard, because of course we don’t qualify for food stamps or any other aids because we make $1000 a year too much income. The amounts we pay for medication, etc, don’t count as expenses. Yet, the immigrants in our town get twice as much in aid as we make, even though they’re working, to help them get “established”. I would like to be able to be able to get the aid they get, we would be doing well. Retirement is only for the rich. We won’t ever get to travel and do the things we dreamed of doing when we retired because our government would rather pay for other countries refugee’s needs than it’s own. If we could change our circumstances we would, but when you’re too ill to work, what do you do? We eat one small meal a day, that’s all we can afford. I’m embarrassed to tell my doctors that that’s the case, although I do quiz them about medication costs and will point blank tell them I can’t afford a medication because I need to eat. Does that mean I have to live with more pain than I should? Yes, suffer from conditions that aren’t life threatening but should be treated, yes, not be able to afford the type of physical therapy I need because it’s classified as a “Health Club”, even though it’s run by physical and occupational therapists and has the only therapy pool in the state? Unfortunately, I have to afford that, so we don’t buy clothes anywhere but the thrift store when we do buy them, and yes, that’s why we only eat one meal a day. If I don’t have that therapy, I become so stiff I can barely walk, and suffer from so much pain I can’t sleep or function. People say take a bus to therapy and doctors visits, you can get rid of your car. In the state I live in, the low was -24 degrees last night,the bus stop is a block and a half away, I can’t walk that far, especially on snow and ice, and my body stiffens up immediately when I get cold. Taxi’s are quite expensive, and when you’re only 57, people don’t go out of their way to offer you rides because you aren’t old. Well, time for this rant to be over, nobody said life would be fair. jadahlgr at yahoo dot com

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