The $2,000 Mistake

Have you ever received an email that made you stop breathing for a moment? Did it feel like time stood still as you blinked rapidly and tried to comprehend the meaning behind it?

It sounds like a dramatic overreaction, but imagine getting a notification from your pharmacy notifying you that your prescription would cost almost $2,000. That’s a big old chunk of change. The mere thought of paying that much for a supply of insulin makes my heart race and my palms sweat.

I nearly keeled over when I saw this dollar amount.

I’m happy to report that this was a giant mistake; for whatever reason, my doctor’s office sent my prescription for Humalog to my local pharmacy, even though I explicitly told them that I use Express Scripts for my insulin orders. It was a total mix-up, and the approximately $2,000 was an amount that I would pay if I didn’t have any insurance coverage. I do, and though I’m not sure how much I’ll be paying for my insulin yet, I know that it can’t possibly cost this much.

I’m relieved that I was able to call the pharmacy and straighten this out without spending a cent of my money. But it was also a major wake-up call to a reality that many people are forced to face when it comes to refilling insulin prescriptions. It’s not fair. (That last sentence is the understatement of the century.) I can’t make any sense of it and I don’t know how many people have no choice but to fork over such a large sum of money on a monthly basis in order to live. Thoughts of those individuals and their dire situations scare me far more than navigating the world of health insurance ever could.

While I didn’t appreciate the mini heart attack this email triggered, I guess I am glad that it alerted me to the fact that I’m going to have to be aware of things like this going forward. As I figure out my health insurance costs and coverage, I anticipate more confusion, surprises, and expenses…but hopefully I can also expect/experience a pleasant discovery or two along the way.


One thought on “The $2,000 Mistake

  1. I follow Laura Marston on twitter and she is very into the insulin4all movement. People have sent her pics of their $3,000 plus insulin bills. When I still took the prescribed insulin, Novolog and Novolin N, I was shelling out $70 with copay ($295 without copay with insurance discount) for Novolog and $35 with copay ($135 without copay) for Novolin N. The Walmart cheapo insulin I use now is only $24.88 a bottle. One bottle is cheaper than any of the others I was on before. Here’s where she and I diverge in opinions. She says the Walmart insulin is not the fix for high prices. While I do believe people should be able to choose the best for them regardless of insurance deals, I have made the switch, mostly without the doctors consent or knowledge. She did give me an earful on my next visit about not telling her first. She has however gone along with my decision. 2 things I want to point out about this switch over. First about the prices, the regular insulin was priced nearly twice what the long term less used insulin was. My knowledge of the two is limited, because they hide a lot of things calling it proprietary, but I have read that the long term insulin is supposed to be coated in something that takes a while for your body to dissolve making it a long term insulin. Now to me that means it must be harder to make but yet it is cheaper to buy. The short term non coated insulin is twice the price but again in my mind it is easier to make. Is the difference in price do to the higher usage meaning higher profits? Second, my sugar levels have never been well under control but they are no farther out than they were. My A1C was 12 plus the first time after switching due to having to get the dosage set. It was 10 before the switch so not such a big change. Last A1C was back in the 10 range so it is coming back down. We need universal health care in this country. People have sent me Facebook posts of stories about the Colorado bill to cap insulin costs. Sadly they do not realize that it is only for those with insurance and does nothing for those with no insurance. We are all just a accident away from being without it.

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