The cost (76/100)

There was recently a hiccup in our healthcare and we weren’t covered. To fix the problem meant waiting a couple weeks for paperwork and after that there was another mistake leading to more paperwork and another delay. In that time I needed to buy insulin and test strips. With the insurance we are supposed to have, prescriptions range from $25–40. Due to the hiccup and mistakes by our insurance provider we paid out-of-pocket, which equaled around $300. In the last four weeks I’ve needed to fill my prescription for insulin twice and test strips once leading to a grand total of $796.35 to pay for a medicine and management tools that keep me alive.

As a freelance and contract copywriter, I need to enroll in my own insurance provider, unless Lindsay’s employer is kind enough to include me or I have a salaried position (last year). In the past we’ve had some lapses due to Lindsay’s employer that led to the same problem I dealt with recently: huge payouts for insulin leading to anxiety. It’s humiliating, standing in line the pharmacy, while the tech scans your prescription, their eyes bulging before asking if I have insurance.

Given the advent of the Affordable Care Act, getting insurance has become a lot easier and more affordable for people like me. Used to be that I was rejected immediately for having type-1 diabetes. Back then there were a lot of doctors toting the discounts and subsidies provided by different drug companies around from patient to patient thinking that this would be enough. The problem with these subsidies is you have to first pay out of pocket and will receive a check later. How much later? Based on the comments of others, at least two months. And even then, the subsidy didn’t bring you close enough to the prescription rate for many insurance companies.

What we’re dealing with that is somewhat similar. Last night I went to Walgreens to pick up my insulin, paid the full amount and will be able to return tomorrow with my card to get a refund. For the insulin I purchased two weeks ago at the same rate, I’ll need to submit a claim through our insurance company and the refund will arrive…eventually.