Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Prescription Problem

I've run into a fun (not) little problem with a prescritption I'm taking. It's turning out to be a major headache and will most likely be throwing my medical expense budget out of whack. With the problems I'm having to get it straightened out, I think it's important to write about. But before I tell you the story, let me just say that you should ALWAYS make sure your prescriptions are listed on the label correctly when you get them filled.

There is a particular medication that I'm on that I've been on for several years. I've been on the same dosage of it for about a year. But my doctor only gives me prescriptions for a month or two at a time because she wants to make sure she gets me in for all of my appointments. It's a name brand drug, so it's one of the higher copays for me which is $25. And I always transfer it around with my free money coupons from either Meijer, Target, or Walgreens.

Last time I got it filled, I got my free $15 Meijer coupon as usual, which is one of the ways I keep my grocery costs so low. But I didn't notice until two weeks later when I was running low on pills that they had given me the wrong amount. They had filled it for one pill a day when I'm actually on two a day. So I called the pharmacy and found out that it was my doctor who made a mistake when writing my prescription. No problem. I called the doctor and they called it in correctly.

So here's where it gets messy and confusing and whatever else. My insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, would only fill two weeks of the prescription since I already had the previous two weeks filled. Except they want me to pay another co pay. Then when I'm ready for a refill, I'll only have two weeks left on the prescription. So another copay for just two weeks. So when I get my next prescription after that, they would only give me another two weeks. So I'm doomed to be paying $50 a month for a medication that should only be $25. I've already reached the end of my options for arguing with Meijer. So now I get to start the argument with my insurance company. Then after that, the department of insurance. All because I didn't verify that my prescription was correct when I had it filled.

Now I will say one thing. Meijer Pharmacy did not do their job correctly. I don't know their specific policy, but most places now try to avoid people like me transferring their prescriptions back and forth for free gift cards by telling you that it's best to keep your prescriptions under one roof for better service so the pharmacist can keep an eye on your medications in case something looks wrong. Since this prescription is always "new" with my doctor writing it out each time with no refills, I've been able to pretty much keep it at Meijer. And they've even told me since this problem started that they can see on my records that my prescription has always been for two pills a day. So why didn't THEY catch it?

Ultimately, I think I'm just screwed. My options are to either resign myself to paying a double copay every month for the rest of my life, or let my health suffer for two weeks and stop taking my medicine. So actually, I'm taking one pill a day. At least that way I won't go through total withdrawal. I'm going to keep trying to work on getting it fixed. Maybe I'll be surprised and someone will actually fix things. I'll be happy enough if they'll just give me a full month's supply for the copay. Then the problem will be fixed going forward and I will have only made one extra copay.

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