I feel kind of like a dick but I hope the message makes it to its intended recipient. Normally I'm a letter writer (see The Kidnapping Room) and normally I'm a little more eloquent that just throwing out the mother fucker bomb, but yesterday I lost my shit completely.
(For once it wasn't directed at the terrorists or Big Red)
There is a silver lining to this story though...one I'll pass on to the rest of my over charged friends...
So, Big Red has had a cold for the last 5 days and it just isn't getting better. Yesterday, the diva terrorist woke up with a sore throat and a fever too.... I admitted defeat and took the day off and began scheduling appointments. (I won't even go into the nightmare it is to try and get same day appoints because that tangent will undoubtedly cause me to swear even more.)
|This is sick big red hanging in there|
Anyway, fast forward to 4:00PM yesterday. Both girls are getting swabs jammed up their nose and we are preparing to hear that the flu test is negative and the usual:
"Thanks for the $60 copay. It's just a cold and we don't give medicine for that anymore. Call us back if the fever persists for more than 605 days or if it spikes so high you child has febrile seizures. Ooooh, don't forget this paper I printed you!! It recommends honey which you probably could have googled on your own. Oh, and don't forget that $60 copay for my magical paper printing skills"
As a side note - if you're a doctor and I'm paying a copay to see you for the love of god give me a prescription of something! Anything really. I saw a lady yesterday at Walgreen's who turned in a prescription for vitamin C pills or something for a cold. Apparently they have special ones behind the counter that don't require a prescription you just have to ask for them specifically. That doctor has it right! He knew he was taking a fee for seeing that lady and essentially giving her nothing in return. Instead of letting her leave feeling like she wasted her time and money he wrote on his little pad and gave her a tangible product in return for his fee. She could have gotten the same thing without his prescription but when they told her that and gave her the pills she wasn't mad and didn't complain. She just said, well at least I got a prescription this time....
But I digress...
Back to the girls and their booger tests.
This time they came back positive.
My first thought was "Woo Hoo! I didn't come here for nothing"
which quickly switched to
"SON of A BITCH they live with me and they touch all of my stuff! Oh hell...I think Lannie licked me yesterday. Oh god she licks her brother even more. Fuck, we're all getting the flu."
In an effort to condense this a little....they were both confirmed with the flu and we finally got some meds. Big Red was too far gone for any flu therapy so she got codeine cough syrup (Thank you Jesus for codeine) Tiny Terrorist and Boy Terrorist got Tamiflu which should greatly reduce Lannie's symptoms and prevent Boy Terrorist's all together. It was a long but successful day up until this point.
Then came Walgreens. I should have sensed the dread when I saw people in line and heard that the wait for IN STOCK meds was over 2 hours.
I took my spot in line and waited with the anticipation of a child waiting their turn to ride the summer's newest roller coaster. Only when my turn came and that roller coaster car pulled up it was full of vomit and turds and one of the wheels had fallen off.
OK, not really, but that's what it felt like until the OHMIGOD WHAT THE FUCK feeling was replaced by a seething rage (that's what made me call that lady a mother fucker).
See, when I got to the line the pharmacist man took my script (the one for the codeine cough syrup - the Dr. had automatically called in the Tamiflu) and proceeded to do something with the computer then looked at me and said "Oh the two for Tamiflu are already ready - I'll just have them move this to the front and we'll get you out of here in about 10 minutes. Do you have your insurance card? The tamiflu is kind of expensive, I want to make sure we get the right price"
"Well shit, I won the Walgreen's lottery" thought I, and I braced for a $50 or $60 bill for my meds (maybe even $80). What I did not brace for was a FIVE HUNDRED and SIXTEEN FUCKING DOLLAR total for ONLY THE 2 prescriptions of Tamiflu.
(He said kind of expensive, not donate-your-fucking-kidney-expensive, which would have been much more appropriate and accurate. Yes, I shared this bit of knowledge with him)
He did his best to help me- he tried pricing the Tamiflu in pill form (the DR. wrote the script for liquid because of their age) generic liquid, the generic capsules everything he could think of, but nothing came in under like $300.
At this point I'm not truly freaking out yet. I'm still thinking something was entered wrong. After a 2 calls to my insurance company and 30 minutes with the pharmacist I realized that in fact there was no error. The insurance I pay almost a $1000 a month for "doesn't recognize Tamiflu as a Preferred Med" not because there is a cheaper alternative...because they don't recognize the generic as preferred either.
Just fucking because...that's why. Seriously that was the answer the insurance lady gave me. "Well we just don't have Tamiflu on out list"
What that means in my situation is that I first have to meet a $700 deductible per person then they will cover 85% of the cost.
That's when I lost my shit with the poor insurance lady. It's all kind of fuzzy but I think at that point I asked her to explain what my $1000 dollars a month was for. Who was the motherfucker who got to decide that my kid could just deal with the flue for 6 days instead of get a medication? I also asked her how in the hell I was supposed to keep my job that provided their shitty insurance after the aforementioned 3 children got the flu consecutively and I had to say home for two weeks. Then I oh so eloquently asked her to find that person and give them a big fuck you from me and to send me their address so I could send my contagious kids to his house and he could handle them. (She was actually very sorry she couldn't do anything or at least that's what her script had her say. But at least she didn't hang up on me.
I got to press my hang up button all mean like and end the call on my terms....
I left the store furious, defeated and without the Tamiflu.
Even worse, I felt like a total failure as a parent because I had chosen not to give them medicine because of the cost.
When I go home I decided to do some research. My intent was to look into mail order pharmacy out of the US. (if you haven't ever looked into it it is an actual option. It's much cheaper, but do your homework on the pharmacy first)
Anyway, I came across a website called WWW.GOODRX.COM. (If you haven't used it or been there SAVE this link. They even have an app - put it on your phone.)
This app gives you coupon with a GROUP, BIN & PCN number. It allows the pharmacy to put it in like insurance and you get the reduced cost. It can't be combined with your insurance discount, but in this case the difference was astronomical. I paid $58 per prescription. I saved $200 dollars by not using my high priced already paid for insurance. Pfft.....
(I did also have to go to the CDC website and get instructions for creating an oral suspension with the capsules and chocolate sauce - ask me if you ever need to know - It's safe and easy.)
So, I came out OK in all of this and I hope it helps you too if you ever need it.
Here are the cost differences from my plan's website and the Good RX coupon:
|Brand Name Suspension WITH Insurance|
|Brand Name Pill WITH Insurance|
|Generic Capsule WITH Insurance|
|GoodRx Coupon cost with NO Insurance|
Now here's my bitch:
We don't need more government insurance availability. Not multiple government run and required plans.
What we need is an overhaul of the costs of care not the plans. There's no reason why anyone (the pharmacy, the insurance carrier or ME) should pay $258 for a fucking pill that costs 80% less than that to make. I have specialized meds that cost $28 THOUSAND dollars a month. That's ONE shot a month. My insurance covers a good portion of it , but my end cost is still like $5K a month. Now the company that manufacturers the drug provides a prescription assistance card to anyone that requests it and has private insurance coverage. That card magically covers the rest of the cost ($5K)
Tell me how in the world they can give that discount to everyone who applies if their cost isn't inflated by 900%.
Anyway, I'm getting off my soapbox now, but take a look at the website - I'll be checking that shit any time a med is over $15 with my insurance.
As a side note if there is a doctor out there that's willing to see me for $30 cash (same as my current co-pay) and write my prescriptions I'd be be interested in meeting you and being forever grateful (or baking you cookies or some shit).
Then I can dump the high priced ins. and get my scrips from GoodRX