Sunday, February 15, 2015

Managing prescriptions and insurers

Every Saturday afternoon I have a job. I refill both our prescription boxes for the week. It often slides to Sunday morning. But it takes a good 20 minutes or so and I have to keep the cat away or he walks over it all and dumps everything out. I pull out all the pill bottles and count them and organize them. 1 prescription, 2 vitamins, and 2 OTC meds for my husband. 2 cancer prescriptions, 1 fibromyalgia prescription, 2 RA prescriptions, 1 back pain prescription, 5 vitamins for me, and 1 OTC med, I think, for me. But I could be wrong. It takes a little organization as well.

This week I screwed up. Big time.

First of all I should have refilled my husband's prescription last week. I didn't. Today is Sunday. He took his pills today and we have exactly one day's more of pills. That gets us through tomorrow. Then we have a secret back up set of pills for him and that's it.

Tomorrow is a holiday and I will try to get a refill for him. But I don't know if his doctor will be available and can fill it - usually they want 48 hours. And it has been requalified by the hospital (probably by a law) that a prescription can only be written by the prescriber and not an on-call doctor and must be picked up in person, not mailed or faxed. So it may be Tuesday. And it has to be picked up at the office where his doctor moved to which is 15 miles away.


Then I went to refill two of my prescriptions at the local pharmacy. They can only fill one because the other one now requires preauthorization which needs to be done annually. Damn, again. But I have a two week cushion left on that one so it should be okay.

Finally, I went to refill two prescriptions by mail order. Both are expired. Damn, again, again. But I also have a cushion on them because they are mail order.

So tomorrow I will call around and get all refilled. What a pain!

I spend a lot of time managing prescriptions. A few weeks I saw my rheumatologist and she tweaked some of my prescriptions and sent in new ones. One of the medications can no longer be filled at the local pharmacy for about $1/month but has been reclassified as a 'specialty' medication and has to be filled by the mail order specialty pharmacy. Each time it is filled, it will cost $35/month. After 3 months, I can switch to a 90 day supply for the price of $80 for three months.

Right now the insurers and my back pain are winning. And the blizzard - we woke up to another 15"+ of winter wonderland outside.

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