Colon Cancer Sucks Ass

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Never-Ending, Continually-Frustrating Financial Saga

Last week after my treatment, I stopped by Walgreens to drop off a prescription. At the same time, I decided to verify that my prescription for Kytril, my anti-nausea medication, was ready. I had tried to pick it up a day earlier, but it was not there. They were expecting to receive a shipment in the next day. The woman confirmed that it had come in and was ready for me. Instead of waiting in another line to pick it up, I said that I'd come back later to pick up both the new prescription and the Kytril.

Around 6pm, I headed back. They weren't busy and I was able to get help right away. Both filled prescription were presented to me and I was told that since I had not met my "share of costs" (a monthly deductable) for the month, I would have to pay for both drugs. I instantly started to panic and try to explain that I had met the amount (which is an insane $511) almost two weeks earlier. She very patiently checked in the computer and confirmed that Medi-cal was claiming that I still needed to pay an additional $44. Well, one prescription was $22 and the Kyril was... $367. Keep in mind that is $367 for six pills. SIX!!! Because the computer said that I still owed money, I would have to pay the total amount because Walgreens can't split the cost between me and Medi-cal.

The Medi-cal offices were closed for the day, so I wouldn't be able to contact them until the next morning and I needed to take the first pill at 10pm. I also did not have access to enough money to pay for the prescription. The Walgreen's employee gave me a couple of suggestions. I pay for one box ($123) - still too much money since rent was due in two days and I had already shelled out $511 for the month. I could try contacting my clinic and see if they could provide me with samples to get me through until I could get this straightened out.

So I paid for the $22 prescription and headed home to call. Miraculously, the nurse who had administered my chemo that day answered the phone. I explained the whole situation to her and she said that they had samples, but they were supposed to have the doctor's authorization to give them out. She asked me to hold and must have talked to someone else. When she came back on the line, she said they could give me 4 pills and they'd get Dr W to approve it the next day.

By then it was almost 7pm and the clinic closes at 8pm. I had to leave right away. Traffic was really light so I was able to get there in 30 minutes and pick up the medication that I needed to my immense relief. They had also already contacted Dr W who had given his okay.

I was not able to make the necessary phone calls the next day to get it all straighted out due to my chemo-induced stupor and now it's June and I get to start all over again. There's a financial counselor at the clinic that I need to call this week to see if she can help me. Someone even suggested that she may be able to get my "share of costs" to a reasonable amount instead of the current completely ridiculous amount since she actual knows how Medi-cal works.


  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger Spanky Myass said…

    I've also gone through cancer treatment recently, and the costs are insane. I hope all goes well with you and your treatment.


Post a Comment

<< Home