Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Can't Tell You How Thankful I Am

I have suffered from migraines since I was in college, although I wasn't really formally diagnosed until right before Buddy turned one year old in 1997. Back in college I would just have maybe one or two a month, and at the time I just thought they were really bad headaches. I've never had the flashing lights and things that go on with my eyes, so I didn't think I had migraines all those years as they were getting worse, although I now know mine happens with my ears. I call it "ear auras" since I don't really know how else to identify or explain it. It's not ringing in my ears; it's the way my ears get "dull." Other than that simple explanation, that's the best I can do.

As I've gotten older, the migraines have intensified in frequency and severity. At one point a couple of years ago I was having about 20 or so a month. The doctor put me on a preventive, and since then they have decreased in severity and frequency. I still have them, and I don't fear running out of the medicine I take when I do have them anymore. The insurance only allows a certain number of pills per month, and it sometimes takes more than one pill. I can take up to four in 24 hours. I have only had to do that once or twice, and that was in the last year. Here is what I get for one month:

I had been getting them at the military hospital in Virginia for the last two years, and I was not having to pay anything for them. Before that I'd been getting them at a Wal-Mart in Illinois, and I've always had an idea how much these cost even though my copay has been very low.

This is one of the packages opened up. Each package has nine pills. I get 18 pills in one month. My copay is $9.00. Total.

My Wal-Mart receipt always tells me how much the medicine "costs." It's probably not as much as the insurance reimburses them because of allowable amounts and all, but if I didn't have insurance I'd have to pay the full amount. Either way, it's a lot of money. These 18 pills that I literally don't know how I would live without cost $501.62. And I pay $9.00.

My preventive I've never gotten anywhere but at a military facility. I had no idea what it cost. It's a brand name prescription, so it costs $9.00 per month, and since they give me a three-month prescription at a time, it was $27.00. The paper of course told me what it cost. Here's the picture of what I get:

225 pills for three months. $1,114.78. You see that comma in there. Can you believe that? Not that three months worth of that Imitrex wouldn't add up to more than that, but still. I was a little floored.

When I say I'm truly thankful, I mean that from the tips of my toes.


Mari said...

You have really good insurance! We get generic meds for $15 but brand name meds are $50. Our daughter is diabetic so he pay $50 monthly for her insulin, another $50 for her test strips and because she uses an insulin pump we have to pay 50% of the cost of the supplies for that which adds up to about $100 a month. Oh for better insurance!

PinkDaisyGirl said...

You're right. We do have good insurance. That is one of the benefits for military members and their families. I think it is often overlooked or taken for granted by many people until they get out in the "real world" and realize what they had. Sometimes the military medical system can be difficult to work with, but you can honestly run into that anywhere, and we were always able to work things out whenever we had a problem.
~ Kayren

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