We can save you money…. they said


Here’s to big business! [he says sarcastically]

I’m glad to have Medicare.  I’m glad to have supplemental coverage as well.  I spent an hour or so on the phone with my carrier on Friday yet another time trying to get my meds sent out correctly and on time.

It seems my phone rang and I got an email telling me there was a problem with my order.  I called the number and I got an automated system that asked me to identify who I was, then inquired about one out of 7 meds that I take.  When the robot had gotten done it told me my order would be sent out today.

But a few days ago when I called to set up direct mailing they said they would send out all the meds on Feb. 24th.  This was February 12. ….hmmmm….  I called them back and talked with a live human being this time.  Of course the other 6 had not been verified (I guess I would have gotten 6 more phone calls).  I inquired about the change in mailing date and Ruth had no idea what was going on about that.  SHE was shipping the meds today!

The she asked whether I knew how much they would cost… I said no. This is the first time you’re sending me these meds, how would I know the cost?  It turns out that even though they are sending tier 1 and tier 2 drugs out without charge that the rest of the meds are going to cost TWICE what they cost when I had the scrips filled by my local pharmacy! Hmmm… Sure… Mail order prescriptions save you money.

I have no historic comparison for the new drug, but the one that they are charging me for that I have been taking for some time now costs twice as much as it used to.

And when I figure it out my total med bill is now 4 times what it was last January.  Some of that is because of additional meds, but the larger percentage is nothing more that being charged whatever-the-traffic-will-bear pricing.

I’m glad I have medical coverage — Medicare-Shmedicare — in this day and age you can’t afford not to be covered.  But I really do wonder about how these systems work and who’s making out best with the system the way it is. There isn’t going to be any great improvement — I know that.  In fact I think we all expect that the medical system in the U.S. is broken and no one is going to fix it.  I would not want to be a teen or a twenty-something in this world.

I guess I’m at the point where I’ll cross the next bridge when I get to it…. Indiana

Thanks for stopping by.  Today was just about venting.  Tomorrow I’ll have something more interesting (I hope) to say.  Stop by then, and thanks for joining me today.

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8 Comments

  1. I can’t talk about my feelings about our medical system….too much anger on my part…too much greed on theirs…and the program itself stole my retirement security. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post.

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    1. I hear you.

      Peg and I have had to work our way through our own anger about a few things: the medical system, the financial markets, politicians. But I think we have shared enough ideas to know that you are ultimately like us: realizing that anger doesn’t do a body any good and in the end we are better off to find a way to release the anger and move on to a more productive mental state-of-mind. Anger held onto too long ends up as bitterness. And no one likes a bitter person.

      You mention a word that I find hard to understand: security. I sometimes wonder what security really is. Moreover, I wonder if anyone who lived before the 20th Century ever had an idea that security was a thing to expect.

      We live in such a unique bubble of time. There are a lot of things we take for granted that I doubt were ever expected in prior generations. But those are thoughts for another day.

      > >

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      1. Actually, I never had security. I was one of those who didn’t plan for the future and lived for the moment…or for a cause. I never had insurance and just made sure I never got sick. As I got older, I saw the flaw in my thinking…bodies age even though spirits can stay young.

        Though I have benefited from Obamacare and get a subsidy, I have paid more in medical than I care to express. After the first year my insurance went up 400% so I change to the bottom line (hope you don’t get too sick insurance) companies only to have that go up 1000%, not a typo. If I don’t pay I get penalized for not having insurance.

        For a blink of an eye, I had hope for possible future security…My grandfather’s legacy was passed down one more generation. (Not huge, but enough where I could see some smart planning would actually allow me the possibility of having a retirement. I really don’t want to work till the day I die, at least not every day.) This legacy came from a man who literally had nothing until the end of his teens…orphaned and no education. He started at the bottom and worked up to be a very successful person…in all aspects of life. But, according to Obamacare, it’s earned income and I have to repay my subsidy…no problem, that seems fair until one looks at what the government considers a family under 50K should pay. In my case it’s 1500/month. Who in their right mind would purchase bottom line medical insurance at 1500/month. Sadly, I’ll be using a good chuck of my grandfather’s hard earned dollars to pay back Obamacare for the next few years. 😦 Good people should have a chance to earn a living…Somehow, someway…I’ll do it despite them all. GRRR…okay, I’m done.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Healthcare in this country is shameful. We throw so much money at things that aren’t all that crucial (like plastic surgery) and yet people can’t afford to see a doctor for serious conditions that affect their quality of life. I have no defense for the system — other than choosing to vent when I get frustrated and then let it go. I refuse to let other people determine how I feel — no free rent in my head! (except when I decide to worry about something I care about — I allow for inconsistency!)
        We have had some help along the way. I expected we’d have to work until we died — both of us. Peggy’s hospital pension has saved our bacon. I gave away so many years of labor to non-profits that I don’t get much of anything from Soc. Sec. but that was a choice we made early on and we knew we’d have to live with it now. Like a lot of folks we got killed with the multiple stock market meltdowns and now most of our savings are tied up in a private mortgage to help our kid along the way — so if we needed a fast infusion of cash we’d have a hard time finding it — we get our monthly mortgage payment but there’s no way to accelerate that. So, we try to keep our nose clean!
        But seriously — this idea of security — is something that does not exist in nature, and I don’t think it really existed in society that far back. There may have been stronger family ties — wherein a person kind of expected to finish out their days with family — but it wasn’t that long before significant parts of the population died because of pneumonia as the outcome of dozens of other medical conditions — and people just had harder, shorter, lives.
        Having just missed Obamacare by less than a year I have no idea how that whole system works. It maddens me that people who don’t have to live under the rules of Obamacare get to make the rules for others — I think Congress should be insured under the system they created for everyone else — but you know that is not going to happen.
        I know we regularly talk about the whole concept of RV’ing and how long we think we should continue this wonderful adventure given my likely future problems. And I don’t know. I value being able to get care at a facility I trust — and having Peggy be comfortable while I may need to be in hospital… that could be NOT the situation if we had a problem out on the road. It’s something we are weighing over quite seriously. But taking no action.

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  2. The good old days are now. That’s what I say to myself when getting frustrated. Sometimes we don’t think we are lucky, but I’m sure most middle class families would love to have the coverage we seniors get at the price we pay.

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    1. Dave — you are so correct!

      It’s hard to reflect on how much things have changed in our lifetime. Medical insurance used to be quite affordable and it always just came with employment. Then I started working for small companies and realized how expensive medical insurance for employees really was! And then I went into business for myself and got the shock of my life! Fortunately Peggy had insurance through the hospital group where she worked and we didn’t have to fret too much but when she retired we were back in the ugly medical mess.

      I was a little stressed when I had to go in hospital last fall — it had been so long since I’d had to do anything other than see the doctor twice a year and I had no idea what to expect. When I read the explanation of benefits I just go all fuzzy and dizzy but I was actually quite happy with how it all played out.

      I do miss the days when people dealt with people though… These call centers and everything happening by ‘remote control’ freak me out. As much as I don’t like LOTS of people, I’m still a people person.

      > >

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  3. We have Medicare also and they’ve changed drug companies many times. We’ve gone from a flat rate of $9 for any generic to individual pricing which was a low as $3 for one med. Recently they changed again and we’re back to the $9 flat rate. I get a discount on my Synthroid, but I still paid over $50 for it. My last refill was before the change; I’m curious to see the new price. Now that I know the one med is so cheap, I resent having to pay so much for it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m still new to the world of Medicare. We had been paying $3.00 for tier I prescriptions. This year we don’t pay for Tier I at all. But one of the new meds the doctor put me on comes in at $360.00 for a 3 month supply in 2016, while it was $250.00 for a 3 month supply in 2015.
      I hear you on resentment!
      But if it keeps me alive I guess it’s cheap at almost any price. 🙂

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