The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Ah, the joys of medical insurance

I was there to pick up a renewal on a prescription and the man behind the counter fetched it and announced, “That'll be $91.88.” I said … well, here. I'll let you listen in on what I said …

ME: What? I've been getting that prescription for two years and it's always been ten bucks.

PHARMACIST: (after consulting his computer) You're renewing it ahead of schedule. Your insurance doesn't pay unless you're within seven days of running out.

ME: And when will I be within seven days of running out?

PHARMACIST: (after consulting his computer again) June 20.

ME: It's 11:54 PM. In six minutes, it'll be June 20.

PHARMACIST: And in six minutes, it'll be ten dollars.

ME: I suppose there's no point in mentioning that I'm not going to be taking that pill tonight. I am just as “out of it” as I will be in six minutes.

PHARMACIST: Right. There's no point in mentioning that. At this moment, it's $91.88.

I went to the end of the line and saved eighty bucks. Makes you wonder what the mark-up is on these pills. And the funny/sad part of it is that this particular drug is also sold over-the-counter without a prescription for $23. I'd hate to think there are uninsured people out there who don't know that and are paying the $91.88, but I'll bet there are.

news from me: Odds 'n' Ends

My take: the pharmacist probably had to enter the prescription on a computer and couldn't fudge the time and date (much like in the 70s, people would get a bill for $0.00 and when they didn't pay, got sent to collections until they actually sent in a check made out to $0.00—yeah, probably an urban legend, but computerized systems are often funny like that).

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