I am unlucky enough to be self-employed in a time where medical insurance premiums are escalating at absurd rates and simultaneously so are the deductibles.
Given my deductible of $5,000, I pretty much have nothing but catastrophic insurance and must pick up my own medical expenses. One of those expenses is prescription drugs. And it is prescription drugs that causes me to ask: “How is this possible?” And to cause you to ask the same question I will lay out quickly my experience purchasing my medications.
Prior to 2017, my deductible was low enough I had some medical expenses paid for by insurance. Not anymore, now I pay out of my pocket.
Under my new deductible plan, I go to Walgreens to pick up my monthly supply of medications. They fill them and I go to pick them up. Like in the past, they fumble around trying to find all 5, and eventually find them. They ring them up and present me the bill. Now I am not certain whether I fainted or screamed at that point, but either would be appropriate. The bill was $1200 for one month. $1200 I say. There must be a mistake. NOPE. I need these medications, but I didn’t have a spare $1200. So I decline the purchase. FUCK IT. But then I am reminded I need those medications.
I call my insurance agent and he tells me about a mail order plan that is cheaper, but you have to purchase 90 days. Oh great, I suppose that will be cheaper but still the magical $1200 mark.
Much to my total amazement and shock and curiosity the monthly amount worked out to be $123…. yes $123. WTF, how is this possible? If this is true, someone in the chain of production and delivery of prescription drugs is making a killing.
Of course I sign up and am relieved. But I keep asking myself how is this possible. Same drugs, same everything but 10X cheaper. Really! Well it is really true. The drugs came from England. Again my curiosity is piqued. Are the drugs I got inferior? According to my Agent they meet all the standards imposed by FDA. Cool.
Ninety days pass and I am almost out. Shit it takes 2 weeks to get these prescriptions because they are coming from overseas. I am starting to panic.
I tell a friend and she tells me to check out GoodRX. I go online and look it up and once again I am shocked and amazed. I couldn’t believe it. With the GoodRX coupons, supposedly I could get the same drugs, from a 1/2 dozen local pharmacies for $123/month or LESS? Is that possible? I am still skeptical. I figure no one will honor coupons. I look them over and Meiers Pharmacy was the cheapest.
I go to Meiers, present scripts and coupons. I am still skeptical and expecting to hear: “We don’t accept these coupons”. Shocked and amazed again, the pharmacist takes the coupons.
I pick up my scripts the next day. She rings them up and shocked and amazed once again, it comes out to $80/month for a 90 day supply. WTF is going on here.
So I can pay $1200 at Walgreens per month or $80 per month at Meiers. That difference is almost a 11X difference in price for the same drugs.
THIS IS WHY OUR MEDICAL SYSTEM IS ALL FUCKED UP. Somehow, someway, someone is able to offer the exact same drugs, for 11X less than some pharmacies which means at those pharmacies someone is making a bloody fuckin’ killing. No wonder medical premiums are so high. Insurance companies probably just pay $1200, no questions. But if they shopped, they could reduce costs to the system by 11X. Is this really possible YES!
Go to GOODRX and get their coupons. These coupons are literally worth more than an ounce of gold!