On of the many things that have challenged me was figuring out health insurance for myself. In the past Kramer’s employer was super generous with health insurance. He paid the entire premium. Kramer didn’t pay anything towards it.
Before I get any further into this post please don’t make this all political. I know Affordable Health Care is a touchy topic.
When all the debates about Obamacare were happening, I was my naive little self and paid little to no attention to it. Whatever happened with that didn’t affect me. I had health insurance through Kramer. I heard all the catchphrases…”affordable”, “necessary”, “no pre-existing conditions”….but I also heard all the “it’s costing all of us so much”. Like I said, I ignored it all. It didn’t affect me.
Fast forward to my current life. I suddenly care about it a lot. I have pre-existing conditions. I am on my own. I am self employed. Now what?? What was going to happen to me with my lower income and pre-existing conditions?
Things were confusing for a bit. Hubby’s boss offered to play my insurance for a month or two…there was COBRA as an option…there was Obamacare. What was the right choice?? I thought I had made the best choice for me…Obamacare.
Then…one of my prescriptions ran out and off to the pharmacy I went. Imaging my sticker shock when I went to the counter to pick up my meds when the gal at the counter said, “Did you switch insurance? I hope so as this medicine is $679.”
After I picked my jaw up off the counter I said that I had switched insurance and started digging for my card. About then I started going into a panic. I had no idea how the Obamacare plan that I picked was going to cover my prescriptions. Seriously, I was so concentrated on my deductibles and co-pays that drug coverage completely escaped me.
My brain went on overdrive. How was I going to afford this? I has to be cheaper. There must be coupons. The meds I needed were the generic of Crestor but maybe there was a different cheaper generic. Maybe there were coupons for Crestor and it would be cheaper with the coupons. AHH>>>
While I was panicking the gal at the counter punched some stuff into the computer. She went back to the pharmacist and they did something with my meds…then she came back to the computer at the register and started punching in more number. I was still panicking. I was sure this was going to be SO-SO embarrassing. I was convinced I was going to have to tell her I couldn’t afford my medicine. Ah!!! Thank goodness there weren’t a bunch of people in line to hear my story of how I can’t pay for my meds.
Then…the gal finally said, “Well I think I got it as good as I can get it.” Ah…what does that mean?? Then I finally asked, “How much is it?” She said, “Nothing.” WHAT???? What did that mean??
It meant this….
My bill was nothing. I didn’t owe a penny.
AH…Imagine how thankful I was. I went from the sticker shock of the medicine being WAY out of price range to sticker shock of the medicine being way under anything I anticipated.
I’m VERY thankful for the $0 but at the same time, I had a real experience in what people around the country experience on a regular basis. I can’t imagine the feelings some must have when they go to the pharmacy to pick up medicine. I would be so frustrated. Even with insurance, how can medicine go from $679 to $0? It’s ridiculous. I was perfectly content paying the $40 I used to pay with our old insurance. We all don’t pay varying prices for a bottle of Tylenol? Why do we pay these varying prices for pharmacy meds? It’s dumb.
Bridget a blog reader recently wrote:
“TG that you found the Marketplace. I had wanted to suggest it but was afraid of the pushback the program generates. You are exactly who Obamacare was created to help. Working people who do not have access to employer sponsored insurance!!! But there is SO MUCH politics around the program I have to wonder if anyone who didn’t need the coverage has really THOUGHT about what the program does BEFORE they formed an opinion :( It is there for their hairdresser and child care provider and other independent operators, and neighbors.”
Bridget..your words touched me. Thank you for writing. Sadly, I was one who didn’t pay any attention to it all enough to form an opinion.
To anyone out there who is struggling to pay your prescription costs…I apologize that I was so naive and didn’t pay attention to your plight. I will do my best not to ignore this and pay attention to drug costs. Please do look for coupons online. There are MANY out there. Simply type in the name of your prescription and the word “coupon”. From me I typed in “rosuvastatin coupon”. Lots of offers for discounts came up. Even if my insurance wouldn’t have covered it, I would not have had to pay the $679. There is also the option of talking with your doctor and pharmacist. In most cases, something can be done to make medicine more affordable. Whatever you do, don’t not take your medication.