There are ways to save money if you look around

Published 4:24 pm Wednesday, November 7, 2018


by Sherry Hopkins

I can’t remember if I have mentioned this or not, but if so bear with me because it is important info that can be repeated.

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I have written about Dear Don losing his health insurance mid-September. We have settled into that new event in our lives. It doesn’t seem quite as scary as it did at first but then everything is going smoothly for him right now, meaning he has no new issues and is learning to live with the debilitating ones.

At the beginning of September in anticipation of losing his insurance we began to shop around for the best cash prices on all of his prescriptions and also applied to the AbbVie Patient Assistance Program to see if he would be eligible to get his biologic drug at a reduced price.

He was quickly accepted into the manufacturers program because he has had no income for well over a year. It was an easy process and we are very thankful for the people who put us in contact with the right folks. Other drug manufacturers also offer similar programs for expensive meds for chronically ill people.

We also went in person to each pharmacy in town to compare his regular meds as well.

Pharmacies are not allowed to give prices over the phone so you must go in person. Online prices are not updated regularly and therefore not reliable.

Also pharmacies are not going to tell you that you can get your prescription cheaper elsewhere. You have be be proactive in this endeavor. But it is well worth the effort.

When Don had medical insurance he had one of the best if not the best coverage one could get. His prescriptions that were refilled monthly were close to $300 with our co-pay being around $35 or so monthly. After shopping around we discovered that Medicap, in the Piggly Wiggly shopping center, had the lowest prices by far. We are now paying  a couple of dollars less than $50 a month. The point here is you don’t know if you don’t ask. So check around and compare prices. You may find that you can save money.

Also while on the money saving thought, I changed my Medicare Part D prescription coverage when open enrollment started. The insurer I used last year, Humana, increased their premium from $10 and change to $24 a month. That was a big increase and I had only used them one time in the year for one prescription so I felt as though I could get a better deal if I shopped around. And I did. I am now covered by WellCare and it is about $10 a month.  Every dollar you aren’t spending in one place is a dollar you can use somewhere else.

For instance my trash collection bill (and yours too) has gone from $13 a month in the county to $15 a month. Along with that $2 increase we get less service. We are now required to take our trash receptacle one-tenth of a mile to the main road of our community for collection.

It is more of a nuisance than anything but I expect by the time winter is said and done Dear Don will be much more than annoyed with that little trip each week.

But to be clear I am thankful for weekly trash collection. When we settled here nearly 30 years ago we would drop our household trash at a dump site that had been created in a ravine in the community. Of course it was free, but it was unsightly, smelled really bad and lots of rodents, insects and stray animals were always present at the location.  When 50 or more homes are dumping waste in one spot it becomes a problem quickly. Now we have containers and collectors for which I am happy. How about you?

Stay tuned.