Helpful info for those struggling with typical medical costs

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This is specific to one major health care system that runs hospitals and doctors offices around my area but I thought it might be useful info because those in similar situations might want to call and see if you have a health care system in your area making similar provisions.

    I called my prior dr's office about getting medication records for the VA because it has info about previous mammos and of course, verifies the rx for allergy medications. I mentioned I was only changing providers due to not having insurance for so long. She said the health care system that runs their office now has two means of helping those without insurance- 1) You apply with that system and if approved you get a card that allows you to see any of their providers for a flat fee of about $30. There is no monthly fee. This is a private company, not a public agency. It doesn't cover cost of medications though. It covers hospital visits, too, but she didn't say what payment that would take. 2) They have a van that goes to different areas for certain times of the day and is set up on the inside like a dr's office. They ask for donations but are free. They exam you and give you some samples of medications if they have them in order to keep you going a few days.

    This is certainly useful in case difficult child needs medication care before the medicaid process is complete. I have worried about that.

    Anyway, now I'm learning more about things that have been put in place to help people over the past year or so since our economy has left so many in horrible situations. I thought I would throw this out to encourage others in bad spots to call places that normally would not have had assistance plans like this but might have them now.

    It would be nice for others to include any helpful info they have found or ideas they have, too, if you want.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Thanks for the info. I find it helpful to take a list of the $4 rx's at walmart with me to the doctor. Also the $3 list from another grocery chain. The docs forget which medications are on them and they can rx the cheapest medications possible if they know you want them to.

    Many rx medications have OTC equivalents. I ask about those too. Jessie's neuro INSISTS that she take 500 mg of naproxen sodium. OTC it comes in tablets of 220 mgs. The rx is not covered because it is available OTC and the cost for a 30 day supply was $19 for the rx version. I bought a weeks worth of the rx version and had her take it for a week. Then I had her take the OTC version at 440 mgs per dose. She didn't see a difference, so we stayed with the OTC kind and didn't tell the doctor. He is very out of touch with reality esp as it concerns budgets, so I just bypassed him.

    For those with migraines the latest and greatest medication is treximet. It is sumatriptan (imitrex) with naproxen sodium (aleve). I think that it has 500 mg of naproxen sodium. I cannot take aleve but Jess and my mom and my aunt are getting the same relief from the samples of treximet they have gotten as they get from imitrex and 2 aleve. With our insurance the cost of treximet is $80 plus 20% of the difference in cost between imitrex and treximet. The imitrex costs us $10 per month, so the choice is a no-brainer.

    When I took ultracet I saw that it was tramadol and tylenol. At the time tramadol (ultram) had just been made generic, hence the release of ultracet. I had the doctor change the rx to the generic and promised to take it with a tylenol. With the insurance we had then it saved me over $60 a month.

    Most pain relievers other than tylenol can be made to work more effectively by adding tylenol (acetaminophen). NSAIDS like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are all more effective when you add tylenol. If you take them with a cup of coffee or a coke they become even more effective.