Good News…but WTF?
For a number of years, I have been filling a prescription at a local pharmacy. The prescription is for 20 pills to be renewed every three months.
The first few years, the twenty pills cost me about $50.
About three years ago I went for my refill, paid only $25 and thought “Great, the price has come down.” Then I got home and realized they only gave me 6 pills. I drove back and questioned them why they only gave me 6 pills.
“That’s all your insurance will cover. If you want all twenty pills you have to pay extra.”
“What? Suppose I needed twenty pills for a life saving issue. You would still only give me six pills?”
“Well, that is all your insurance will pay.”
“That is disappointing, but shouldn’t I have the option to pay for all the prescribed pills…you know, just in case I wanted to live beyond the six pills?”
“You don’t need these pills to save your life, they are considered to be recreational.”
“Well maybe I’d like to be recreational the full amount of the doctor’s prescription!”
“Certainly sir, but the pills are expensive if you want the additional 14 pills.”
“They will cost you $550.”
“Please fill out the whole prescription, I’ll pay the balance.”
Now for the next few years every time I go to the pharmacy they only give me 6 pills and I have to argue with them before they let me pay for the other 14 pills; and for some insane reason I always have to come back the next day for the other pills.
Today I went in for a pick-up, and as usual they only filled it for 6 pills. I told them in my most exasperated voice, I would pay the uninsured amount to get the full prescription.
“Yes sir, that will be $900.”
“WHAT? Six months ago I only paid $550.”
“Just a minute sir let me double check.”
“La la la dee dee da da la la.”
Fifteen minutes later
“Sir, that price is correct, but if you want you can just pay $25 for the six pills and then come back in 25 days where your insurance will allow you another 6 pills for $25, but they will only subsidize 6 pills every 25 days.”
“Wait. You mean the insurance will cover all the pills in the prescription, but they will only pay for 6 pills in 25 day increments.”
“Yes sir, come back in 25 days and I can give you 6 more pills for another $25.”
“So for the last three years I have paid $550 three to four times a year when I could have bought them for only $25 every 25 days in increments of 6 pills?”
“Yes sir, you have the option of buying them 6 pills at a time every 25 days at the subsidized price, or you can pay for all 20 at once, but the insurance only will cover 6 pills.”
“Well that is good news; it will save me lots of money… I only wish someone would have explained this option to me six thousand dollars ago!!!”
“I guess they figured you didn’t want to make the extra trips.”
Now I don’t know whether to be happy or pissed off.
I saved $550 I was expecting to have to pay, but I can’t stop thinking about the six thousand bucks I paid over the last three years which I could have saved by just making a few extra trips to the pharmacy.
I just decided…I’m pissed off!