Thursday, July 24, 2014

We are on the mend and the bills are rolling in...

Thanks to antibiotics, all of us at chez Withers are on the mend and hopefully have eradicated strep from our house. We all have new toothbrushes and we have done a lot of cleaning -  so we are doing our part to help P&G categories get off to a good start to the new fiscal year!

I have perked back up post strep and am feeling pretty good. Someone asked me how exercising is going the other day. I have been walking with a good friend in the neighborhood once a week and that has been great. I tried a short run (which in the end was a run/walk followed by a quick shower and then a nap)  with my long time running buddy last week. The run did not make me feel as out of shape as I thought it would (because I am very out of shape) but I felt pretty weak. Otherwise I walk the dog so really not exercising a lot yet.  A lot of days I horde my energy for other activities, but am hoping to start to be more consistent next week.

The medical bills have been rolling in lately which is always fun. Included in this stack is my insurance statement for last month. My medical costs billed last month were over $100,000 (what insurance paid was significantly lower thanks to their negotiated discounts). I am waiting to see what my prize is for breaking the $100k mark in one month. So far the only bonus is I have met my personal deductible and maximum out of pocket this year (and, yes, I think I have finally figured out how all that works). If there was anything else I needed to get done this would be the year but after months of being a regular at my oncology office I am ready to take a break from doctors, hospitals and the like for awhile.

Prescription drug price structures are just as perplexing to me as those for doctor/hospital. I was at the UC pharmacy picking up some prescription refills today. We are all about convenience in our family, and minimizing trips to stores, so we usually fill scripts at our friendly neighborhood Kroger pharmacy.  I've had to make an exception though on 2 drug with insane co-pays at Kroger. For one med the co-pay is $60 for a month's supply and for the other the co-pay  is $70 for a month. At the UC pharmacy (which is the least convenient, most pain in the neck place to go) these drugs total cost was $36 and the copay was $18. Yes, you read that right, same drugs available at pharmacies 2 miles apart and the cost to me at one was $130 and the other $18. The tip for the day is if you have less than mainstream drugs get them from the hospital pharmacy!! I am not sure if it is supply and demand, or subsidizes, or both, but the difference has been huge.

So overall we are doing well and staying the course. My next set of labs will be on Tuesday and hopefully will be able to say everything is trending up.

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