Thursday, January 25, 2007

Some fun with insurance - I'm an idiot

I am on many, many medications.

The current problem that is being treated is abdominal muscle damage and atrophy, due to the laprascopy in February and the kidney fuckups in July and August. (Right kidney - swollen to twice its size. 1st urologist promises to remove stone, but doesn't. He puts a stent in improperly, and it causes 48 hours of hellish pain before falling out. Then I go to the hospital for 5 days. 2nd urologists do a lithotripsy, break it up, put a stent in. I'm still in pain. On my 18th birthday, even! They take the stent out, I'm in pain, no you're not. Go to the ER, there's still a stone there, overnight in the Med, second lithotripsy, 3rd stent, all done. In the space of 3 weeks.)

So there's a bit of lasting damage and pain in the abdomen, huh?

We've addressed nerve damage, and that lifted a terrible band off my stomach. Now we're working on physical therapy and my problem is I don't want to build up to 30 reps, I want to jump right in. But I'm behaving, because I know if I overdo it, blah de blah blah.

Anyhoo, I have a prescription for lortab and valium. I'm also, naturally, on birth control for the endometriosis and ovarian cysts.

Well, go to the pharmacy Tuesday night, Lortab's 3 bucks, my normal copay for generics. Wednesday morning, Valium's 3 bucks. The birth control should be 9, because it's a 3 month supply.

Not this time, it's 66 bucks. My copay on brand name medication is 22 bucks, so that makes sense. Except there is a generic version of this birth control, I got it in November.

But no, in January, Tricare (the insurance of the military) decided that birth control was a luxury. I called the base pharmacy, that poor guy knew nothing. He said call Tricare and find out what's going on - I'm not on birth control so I can have sex, I'm on it so we can control the pain. Er, one source of it.

But I like that.

Tricare wants me doped - valium and lortab aren't luxuries? - and pregnant.

How ridiculous is that? How familiar is that? Think of the Victorians. Think of the 50s - women's health had a delightful misogynist bent to it, don't you think? I thought we were past that.

(And yes, my copays are that low. Bwahahaha. You can get it by serving in the military 20 years then retiring, or by being a kid of someone who did so.)

Whoops. Just got off the phone with insurance - great way to build stress. Seasonale is the only one affected, normal birth control that gives you one period a month remains the same.

And it's not a luxury, there was some misunderstanding/mistranslation on the part of the pharmacy. What happened is, every month, the pharmacy board meets and decides on the classification of prescriptions - I got my numbers garbled. $3 for generics, $9 for brand names, and $22 for generics and brand name drugs that 'cost more to make'.

I've only had to pay $22 dollars for Cymbalta, so I assumed it was the copay on super expensive brandnames.

Of course, I can get my birth control for free if I use the base pharmacy. (Not that I have time, it takes 2 weeks to get a prescription, because they're filled in Florida.)

Not. They don't fill Seasonale or its generic. They just do the monthly BC.

You could still read something into that - we need to have a period every month, who do we think we are, having one every 3 months, blah blah blah.

So, it's not technically a luxury, but they decide to raise the price so doctors will stop prescribing it as much.

And don't get me started on the base pharmacy! We used it once in the past few years, what a mistake. You can't order your refill until this many days after you picked it up, however, it takes two weeks for it to get there, so you could go without.

Which may explain why they give out 3 month supplies of monthly birth control.

Or not.

My brain is fried.


Mark H. Foxwell said...

Dear Kaitlyn,

I just found your blog via a comment you made in Pandagon.

I doubt very much you are an idiot. I'd say you are way ahead of the curve.

I wrote a whole lot about how it isn't you, it's insurance. Insurance sucks.

Keep on rockin' in the free world!

Ithildriel said...

I'm not convinced that it is healthy to keep your body on a 3 month cycle long term. Convenient, sure...but I wonder if there are any long term side effects.

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