I learned 2 fun little lessons about health insurance/medicine this week and I figured I’d share with you juuuuust in case you ever find yourself in a situation like mine :)
Lesson 1: Don't assume the pharmacy has your insurance info
A few months ago, I turned 26 and was therefore booted off my parent’s health insurance and had to get my own (I used ehealthinsurance.com to find a plan, if you find yourself in the same situation)
Last week I went to my first visit with my new doctor and got a prescription for allergy medicine. I had the prescription filled at CVS, which was a brand new experience for me. My past provider had their own internal pharmacy, so I’m not used to going somewhere external to get prescriptions filled.
So I go to CVS and pick up my prescription. Imagine my surprise when I’m charged $62 (!!!!!!!!!) for one month of allergy medicine. Generic allergy medicine, I might add.
Yes, $62!!!!!! HOLY @#$(*!!!
I was so confused and taken aback by the price that I just swiped my credit card and paid, assuming that my insurance was crappy and that's why I was being charged so much. But I couldn’t get over it. Later in the week week I did some research, called my insurance company, and it turns out CVS charged me as if I didn’t have insurance!
Now, I suppose this was technically my fault because I assumed they had my insurance information (if my doctor can electronically send my prescription, wouldn't they also send my insurance info?) and didn’t offer the pharmacist my insurance card. But on the other hand, why didn’t she ask for it???
So I went back to CVS Wednesday, explained the confusion to the pharmacist, and got my money back. The actual price of the medicine, with my insurance? $6.37. SO MUCH BETTER.
This is the massive amount of receipts/prescription papers that you generate when you buy something, return it, and buy it again. haha.
I’m hoping that you are much smarter than me with this insurance stuff, but just in case you find yourself in this situation down the road, SHOW YOUR INSURANCE CARD WHEN YOU PICK UP PRESCRIPTIONS! Don’t assume they’ll ask for it.
Lesson 2: Compare prices for your (over-the-counter) medicines
In addition to my prescription allergy meds, I also take an over-the-counter allergy pill. (I get terrible allergies, hence all the meds) I always get the generic version and I assumed that meant I was getting the cheapest price.
So again, I'm at CVS and see a deal on the medicine-- buy one get one 50% off. I buy two big bottles and it ends up being $30 for 90 pills. I assume that's a good price and go on my merry way.
I then walked next door to Safeway to do a little grocery shopping and just happen to glance down their medicine aisle to see if they also carry the medicine. Whoa, turns out they do... And it's way cheaper!! A 120 pill bottle for $21!!! 30 more pills for $9 less! I contemplate buying it but then get to thinking... if Safeway has it cheaper than CVS... who else might have it even cheaper?
So I hopped online when I got home and googled it (obvi) and what do I find? Freakin' AMAZON carries a big bottle (100 pills) for ~$7.50 OH and Costco has their own version with 365 pills (!!!!!) for ~$16 (!!!!!!). SERIOUSLY? WHY HAVE I NOT THOUGHT OF THIS SOONER?
So now I'm all sorts of annoyed with myself that I've been buying these pills at a ridiculous markup for months now and have never given it a second thought. Amazon and Costco, you win. As usual.
So there are your lessons of the day: show your insurance card whenever you pick up prescriptions, and do some price shopping for your over-the-counter medicines :)
Sooooo what are you up to this weekend?
Mike and I are meeting up with one of my friends from high school tomorrow and going ROCK CLIMBING AHHHHHHHHHHH
If you don’t hear from me on Monday, it’s probably because I’m stuck halfway up a rock wall and am too scared to ever come back down. It’s been nice knowing ya! :)