A $400 DAY

It doesn’t take much. This used to be a lot of money, but now, it’s a mere pittance.

We started out by putting gas in the car — $55.75. We couldn’t put it off any longer. Peter Pump was beeping. That only happens if we are running on fumes.

I had to do something about breathing. My asthma has morphed into emphysema. It will keep getting worse if left untreated. I couldn’t afford an inhaler, but BlueCross — our Medicare Advantage provider — is offering one at $84 for a three-month prescription.

But I had to figure out how to pay the rest of our deductible because the inhaler is a Tier-3 medication. It’s the only level at which our deductible kicks in. I didn’t have the money, but at least BlueCross will let me pay it off in three parts — if I order it from Express Script, their mail provider.

I’ve been avoiding using the mail to get medications. Deliveries are problematic. Yesterday, I gave up. Using Express Scripts will give me all my blood pressure medications without a copay. That will save me about $100/month. Several other medications will cost a lot less too.

The money for the prescriptions came out of my account today — not a great day for more withdrawals — another $85. Plus $12 at the pharmacy, $40 at the grocery, and $20 in cash because we didn’t have any. Well, that’s not true. I had $2 plus change. Also, there was another $200 to Amazon for items we need which cost less than half what they would if bought locally. There is more we need, but it will have to wait. We’re out of money.

We don’t have the same expenses every month. I get most medications every three months. I buy Boost for Garry two boxes of 24 bottles every other month. Things like generic medication — allergy pills, generic Excedrin, vitamins all last several months. For some reason, though, all of these things seem to come up at the same time.

Long term savings are great, but we have to get through this month. There are 11 more days to go. Ouch.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping the right inhaler will help me breath and the problems with my kidneys is the result of one of medications I take for blood pressure. It’s such a common medication, too. I don’t think anyone even thought about whether it was compatible with other things. Also, it was not prescribed by my family doctor, but by my cardiologist. When you have a lot of doctors for different things, no matter how careful you are, slip-ups happen.

I have been dealing with medical stuff all month. There’s more to go. I have teeth that need filling and I probably need new glasses. I can’t afford either, but if I have to choose, teeth win. Not seeing is inconvenient, but infected teeth can kill you.

All of this is at least partly an explanation of why I’ve not been doing much online. I haven’t had time or energy. Hopefully, before summer ends, things will be going better.

Categories: #Health, #HealthInsurance, #Medicare, Anecdote, medication

Tags: , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. I have two tier three eye drops I need daily. That first purchase which requires filling the deductible is enough to cause the pharmacy tech to say “are you aware of your copay”? Yes, why yes, I am. Thank you for the reminder.


  2. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling. I can’t relate to your medication issues. Most of our drugs are covered when we hit 65 by the province. My teacher’s health plan covers the rest. Gas of course is up everywhere so I just drive less and walk more. Fingers crossed that you get what you need.


  3. I am still looking for that Healthy Trail. In fact, I have been looking for years. I used an insurance consultant to pick the Medicare supplement and Part D. The cheapest out-of-pocket Part D I found using the government search would have been over 12,000 a year but she got Wellcare for me which would be about 5,000 a year less. It is working so far. I saved even more by using a program here (Thank God for democrats) that eliminates the co-pay on certain things if I use their preferred pharmacy (Walgreens this year). I would be paying about 350 co-pay each for two different meds now that the deductible of 7050 is met if I did not use their mail service. So it’s free or 700 dollars each month. I work from home 3 days a week so no matter what day the delivery is, I am home. The actual pharmacy they use is not far away, but they do not allow pick up, only mail service. Bureaucrats!


    • I’m just glad to finally GET an inhaler. I thought I was going to die of this, although the number of chronic and potentially lethal issues I carry around? I could die of any one of them. I’m often shocked I’m still alive.

      People from other countries are appalled at the prices WE pay for medications. They get them for pennies or free.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t understand why an inhaler is so expensive in America! Here it would cost 2-3 bucks. This is such an exploitation of people.


  5. Hi Marilyn, I am sorry you are having such a tough month. I am really shocked that you can’t get an inhaler at your age for free in a first world country like America. Gosh, chronic meds like that are available to people from the government clinics for free here in South Africa and we are a ‘poor’ country by comparison.


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