Monday, March 19, 2018

Prescription Issues, a Goodbye Lunch and a Bummer

AJ, AZ   High 74  Low 48

I still can’t believe how our insurance works for prescriptions. Or doesn’t work.

I am taking prescription Vitamin D – one a week. Jim and Rocky always go to pick them up for me from CVS. The first time he brought home four pills that cost 39 cents. That’s wonderful. Then I finally got permission to have a three month supply at a time. On Tuesday the guys went to pick up my new prescription and the cost was $21.09 for 12 pills. I am not a mathematician but those two costs do not add up. If four pills cost about 10 cents a piece, 12 pills should come out at $1.20 or so.

For a change – an Arizona Sunrise


So back to the Pharmacy they went. The pharmacy person could not really give Jim an answer as to why the difference in price. Something about insurance. However, they did refund his original price and ended up charging him $1.29.

When he got home and told me about it I remembered hearing some news report that Pharmacies are not allowed by law to tell you that a prescription is cheaper if you don’t use your insurance. However, if you ask them about it, they can give you the information.

There’s a good news article about it at Gag Orders on Pharmacies. So my advise to you is to ask about the cost of the drug without using insurance. I know we will definitely be doing that from now on.

We were able to meet up with Jeri and Terry for lunch on Wednesday when they were able to find a few minutes in their busy busy schedule. We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory and it was really good. Fun to catch up with good friends and tell them to have a great summer. They are leaving around April 1.

Now for the bummer – We aren’t going to be able to leave the valley until sometime in June. Jim has to have cataract surgery on both eyes and his final appointment is on May 31. I really had hoped that this year we would be gone in early May but it’s not to be. But the good news is that Jim will be able to see really good when we go East next fall and that’s a good thing.


  1. Ed had cataract surgery 2 years ago. He doesn't wear his distance glasses any more only readers.

  2. We discovered that about insurance on pills some time ago. We have some generics that are cheaper if they don't file insurance. I hate that we all have to learn this by accident. I wish I'd thought to tell you all back when we learned it. Sorry.

  3. I'm going to ask the pharmacist next time; I have only two prescriptions I take, and one usually runs me about 46 cents. I think the other one should be cheaper so I'll find out about it, and thanks for bringing it up.

    My cataract surgeries (on both eyes) went fine without a hitch. Then I had to have retinal transplants, and was ok. But now there is nothing they can do about macular degeneration (nothing that I want to go through in hopes that it works.)

  4. Our medical system is broken, especially where RX drugs are concerned. I've found some good prices on and as soon as I need a refill, I'm going to try to use that.

    Good luck to Jim on the cataract surgery.

  5. Double bummer because we know how hot it will be for you guys. Hope Jim's surgery goes well.

  6. Oh who the heck can figure out insurance companies. We just found our that our insurance company did not renew with our orthopedic doctor. We have never heard of the insurance company not renewing. Of course, they won't tell us why so on to a new doc for us. Out of pocket is just ridiculous!
    Good luck with Jim's surgery. They just do amazing things with cataract surgery these days. I am sure he is looking forward to getting that 20/20 back.

  7. Donna is right, is worth checking out. We're using them for one of the drugs the pharmacy benefits (?) manager doesn't like paying for. It's just easier than talking to them. Sorry you're not leaving when you wanted to - neither are we.

  8. That is just crazy about the prescription cost and how insurance drives the cost up differently. Glad you were able to take it back in and get the better price.
    Good luck for Jim's surgery and getting back to good vision will be icing on the cake.

  9. I used to take the Vitamin D and it was about $12. cash out of my pocket the ins. wouldn't cover. Last month I wound up with 2 different infections and one antibiotic would not fix both things. My Dr. did a generic script and one was $46.36 and the other one was $34.74 out of my pocket. The pharmaceutical companies are out of control and the ins. companies aren't any better.
    Jim will be quite happy with his cataract surgery.

  10. That was puzzling, I guess most pharmacists aren't smarter than a fifth grader... ;c)

  11. That is exactly what I found out about one of my insulins. I dropped a bottle of insulin and broke it. I called the manufacturer to ask what I could do since I'd just lost $100 worth of insulin. They told me I could get the same insulin over the counter at Walmart for $25. What! I had been paying $100 with insurance paying the rest. Now I just get it at Walmart. So you are right. Always ask and then call the drug manufacturer. Some of them offer cards which allow you to get a reduced rate.

  12. It was definitely nice seeing you both again. Interesting about prescriptions. I'm going to have to check that out. If we don't see you before we leave, we'll see you in the fall. Enjoy your summer!

  13. I read this with interest. I too am having cataract surgery in two weeks. I needed special drops that with ins coverage was $300. No insurance with a coupon was $60??


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