The Attempted Theft of Medicare
Will the Republicans Cut Social Security?

Crabby Old Lady, Prescription Drugs and Insurance Companies

Rx

Having complained in these pages about my fuzzy brain with its lack of focus and concentration, it's only fair to let you know that over last weekend, it improved dramatically.

Or, maybe it has been improving a little at a time but was finally far enough along for me to notice only a few days ago. Either way, I'm glad to finally be more cognitively functional again.

I just read a book in three days, can now get through news articles I care to read and, as you might have noticed on Monday, can actually write something that involves a little research and more organization than I've been able to handle for the past few weeks.

Best of all, Crabby Old Lady has reappeared and she would like me to shut up now so she can get on with what she came here to say.

Crabby's attention and energy level have improved enough that she could probably drive her car again – at least for short distances - but she's not willing to try it quite yet. Over the past weeks of her recovery from surgery, she has relied on neighbors and friends to get her around but does not like to burden them any more than necessary.

With that in mind, Crabby arranged with Cathi Lutz to drive her to a doctor appointment this morning and on Monday, intending to combine what would otherwise be two trips, she telephoned her pharmacy to arrange to pick up a couple of medication refills – just a small detour on the way home – while Cathi would be driving.

Sorry, said the pharmacist. You cannot refill prescriptions until one day before you run out.

Listen, folks, this is not a controlled substance like, oh say, oxycodone. It's a drug that replaces enzymes Crabby's pancreas no longer produces. She will need to take it a minimum of three times a day for the rest of her life and without it, the pain resulting from eating is agony.

Secondly, people with life-threatening diseases, people recovering from surgery and people who rely on others to get them out and about cannot easily pop over to a pharmacy at the pharmacy's convenience.

The difficulty might be the availability of a friend to drive. Or, maybe it's being too sick or too fatigued or in too much pain on that particular day to be able to leave the house. Crabby knows all about those problems these days.

Crabby knew she was well on her way to being her old mental self when she told the pharmacist all this, making it abundantly clear at the same time that she was – well, miffed would be putting it mildly.

There was a long silence on the other end of the telephone connection and then: “There is nothing I can do about it.”

Unable to control her indignation – or, perhaps, relishing it – Crabby asked the pharmacist how it is not cruel to inflict this stupid rule on people many of whom may be at their most vulnerable. Or, what if Crabby were going out of town for a week or two and needed the medication to have while she was away?

Long silence at the other end of the phone again. Then: I can't help you. It's not a pharmacy rule; it's the insurance company.

Is that the dumbest rule you've ever heard – that the insurance company decides how soon a customer can refill the prescription? The company that may be hundreds or thousands of miles away?

Then it got weirder. The pharmacist told Crabby that the earliest she could refill the script was on Tuesday, the next day, but Crabby would need to phone again then to make the request. One day's difference.

To make matters worse, this pharmacy does not deliver. So, apparently, they are willing to let a customer go without what, in some cases, could be a life-saving drug because they allow an insurance company to dictate when they can dispense it.

As has been discussed in these pages before, being old is hard. Being old and sick is even harder and it is harder still when a person can't easily hop in the car or on a bus to get somewhere.

It may seem to be a small thing but Crabby Old Lady believes such a refill rule as this is of a piece with the kind of awful healthcare the Congressional Republicans and President Trump are trying to foist on Americans too young for Medicare.

The operating principal of the lawmakers and the insurance companies appears to be to make it as hard as possible for people of all ages to get the care they need - even simple things like prescription refills.

Comments

Crabby, I do hope you are sending this post to the insurance company, with even more well chosen words!

My heart goes out to you Ronni. We take being able to drive a car for granted until you can't. What a world we live in!

Is this something you can get mail order? That is how we get our major prescriptions, the kind that we have to always take like thyroid for him. We get three months at a time with no problem in renewing a few weeks ahead of time-- so long as the prescription stays active. It is one of the sad things about local pharmacies, that they get stuck with rules that mail order does not seem to have. Some of it is state regs as much as federal.

Did you ever see that British TV series "Little Britain"? Every week there was a short episode where someone goes to get service from a different service-giver, a not-very-smart young woman at the computer who says, inevitably, and without removing her gaze from the screen "Computer says no".... this misery is becoming universal. So sorry you have to deal with this s**t.

Welcome back, Crabby. Continue being outraged always by the power being taken from the people and given to the named but faceless corporations.

I (gratefully) find it helpful that Safeway provides home delivery, while the remaining drug stores, CVS & Walgreens, do not. Perhaps the same applies in LO.

Ronni, so good to hear you're regaining your momentum and abilities. As one of many, it provides great pleasure in the morning in the quietness and clarity of dawn.

Having been in the position, over the years, of being responsible for medication management for others who have needed that, I'm familiar with prescriptions not being refilled until seven days within the refill date, but one day is truly absurd. And having to call back again in order to place the request on that one day ahead? Why can't they simply put a hold on the requested item or place it in a suspended status until the allowable date? Life becomes more Kafkaesque each day.

Simone...
No delivery from the Safeway pharmacy where Crabby Old Lady lives!

Good for you, Ronni, and THANKS for posting this! My "local" drugstore is CVS, and they don't bend a bit from their nasty rules. Some of them are nice in person, but others...fuhgeddaboudit. My presciption was written by a doctor who is head of 3 departments at her university's medical school/operation/wotever, and she still has to call in the damn prescription month by month. it's horrible. Thanks be you still have enough acting brain cells to manage this twisted way of doing things. My prescription HAS TO BE TAKEN daily. If I just quit taking it, I'll be dead in about 2-3 weeks. I can get my scrip mailed to me, but the mail has been effed up a lot by our dear coop rules (set by new board members who are just barely out of college and have no experience with aging and doctoring and all of that). not to complain, of course...the local gummint here takes good care of me. But it does help to SAY THINGS ABOUT WHAT's GOING ON, so they can learn. I'm so glad to read that you are improving!!! yeah...it's a pain not driving in this automobile culture--I quit 5 years ago when I retired. I'm 80 now--I've outlived both of my parents, and my last brother died recently at 90. So.....hang in there, and keep on being crabby!!! Holding you in the light!!!, m.e.

You need to take this up with the insurance company. It isn't the druggist's fault. Most insurance plans allow mail order. For meds like this, that's how I'd go with if I could arrange it.

Insurance companies control our medicine practice here.

So glad to know you are feeling better! So sorry your insurance plan has such a stupid rule.

I've encountered this recently also at Walmart with an added insult! I called in a few days ahead of time and the automated system indicated all was fine and my order had been placed.

So I get there next day to stand in line for 10 or 15 minutes and find out when I reach the register that it is "too early" to refill. I just shake my head, roll eyes and leave with a glare.

How hard would it be for the automated system to say "your prescription cannot be refilled at this time" to spare one the agony of an unnecessary trip to the nastiest store on the planet?

And yes I use mail order for most meds but for some drugs Walmart ends up being cheapest by quite a bit.

This is really a nonsensical "rule" especially for non-controlled drugs. (And obviously created by people too young to have experience with the medication refill merry-go-round. )

Live and learn l ... hoping for each day to be better and better for you Ronni. You are amazing.

I have a nephew & niece who are pharmacists who are now required to have PhDs! Both of them were discussing your situation & others like it & I was flabbergasted & almost speechless. Between the federal, state & local ordinances re pharmacies, they are at the mercy of Big PHarma! It was difficult to believe what they have to put up with & end up with huge responsibilies & no authority. That, along with so many other things going on in this country,...........land of the free.......it saddens me as I stew about it. So glad to see Crabby back...............Dee :):)

Two things: does this mean that if you paid for it rather than an insurance company, you could get it yourself? And, is this the way that the senators and our representatives insurance companies work? Or do they have something else they can do?

Glad you are feeling better Ronnie. You need to send this blog to your Senators - heaven only knows they have no idea what their constituents deal with.

Feeling deep compassion and boiling rage. Workarounds might help. Any chance your prescribing doc(s) could increase the count/month? This would cover, for example, a month of 31 days with a prescription for 30 pills (this has happened to me!) and help avoid the stinking rotten gobbledygook runaround you experienced.

Glad to see you and Crabby back. We have one pharmacy that delivers and they are a little more expensive but I think it's worth it. My by mail drugs come from Express Scripts whose system allows me to request a refill ahead of time. They put it in a queue and they send you reminders if you haven't ordered. Maybe your insurance has a mail order like that? However I agree, the insurance companies are in charge of way more than they should be however the pharmacy is remiss in not having a queue for early call-ins. Poor business practice if you ask me.

I never heard of such a ridiculous rule. It's absurd. My Insurance company allows me to get my prescriptions by mail or pick-up and I get a notice in my e-mail that a prescription needs to be refilled.

I can order to have my medications automatically refilled and they arrive well before I am out. The only problem with the mail service is that it takes up to 7 days to receive the medication after ordering it. However, if you have it automatically refilled that is never a problem. The mail pharmacy even calls your doctor if the prescription can no longer be refilled.

You don't need the stress of your Insurance company's stupid rule causing you inconvenience. I am sorry you have one more thing to deal with.

I don't know who your pharmacy is, but I am betting that it's one of these big ones like Walgreens, CVS, etc...They are horrible to deal with. I know this because I dealt with them for friend's prescriptions, not my own. You see, I use a local pharmacy, owned by a real person, not a corporation. The lady who owns the pharmacy is the pharmacist who stands behind the counter. She talks to me about all sorts of things. She follows me on instagram and Facebook. In other words, we are friends. I have none of the problems you just wrote about.

Oh, and another service offered by the local pharmacy--delivery.

This is not a small thing! I've been a patient, worked as a claims analyst for a health insurance company as well as a caregiver for my husband for many years. Even if the pharmacy is near by it's just one more thing to add to the long list of things to be done and scheduled into already long days.

It's a shame that anyone has to deal with the delays and fulfilling all the "rules" while their world has changed beyond recognition.

Jan

I'm signing up for the Crabby-Old-Lady combat team!!!

Policies like these, designed by the "sales prevention department", rightly encourage folks to take their business elsewhere...after the due diligence is completed (on the telephone).

After my major surgery last year, I felt fine to drive one month later, but held off an extra month because I didn't think I had developed the stamina to deal with "an unexpected situation" (traffic ticket, accident, traffic tie-up, etc.).

Check with your insurance carrier. Get on the mail program. They seem to ignore the "can't get it yet" rule, at least mine does..

Getting my med was a nightmare before mail program, pharmacies either out of med, requiring driving great distances, or I needed it before insurance would allow.

I have a 3 month supply now and reorder when I'm down to a 3 week supply.

And...mail program is cheaper too.

Lots of good healing thoughts and prayers included here!

Caroline

What a ludicrous way of doing business!
I can think of so many 'what if' situations -
*the day before is a national holiday & stores were closed
*the day before there was a local emergency & stores were closed
*a capsule dropped away and was unobtainable so medicine was 'short'
Oh, lots more.
This is a 'rule' that is completely new to me. Again and again, I realize I am lucky
to have insurance that permits me to get refills one month in advance of
renewal date, and have them sent via US Mail, or else pick them up at the
local Safeway.
I'm so sorry, Ronni that you have to go through this along with the business of getting well.
But, somehow, I know that now you have your dander up, the insurance
company better beware.

I too welcome back COL, and I'll offer a few thoughts that I hope may be helpful:

1. Unless a drug is a narcotic, ask your doc for a 90 day scrip. Narcotics must be 30 days.

2. Check your drug store for online ordering. Walmart, my Part D store, uses it, and the system let's you know when you can order. Rather, when it's too soon to do so.

3. Walmart also holds my order up to 10 days for me to get there.

And yes, call the insurance company. Don't tell your whole story until you get to the supervisor, or you'll get tired and leave out important facts. Just give your insurance #, your date of birth, and a sentence such as "I can't seem to refill my prescription more than one day ahead of when it runs out."

When you get to a supervisor, give 'me the full story.

I have found the Pitiful Old Lady show works better for me by phone, but not with those first few powerless clerks, who apparently aren't moved by anything but policies and supervisors.

Good luck.

For the insurance company it's all about saving money, say if you died four days before your prescription would run out and you picked it up five days before you died.

Glad you are feeling better. Getting grabby is actually a good sign.

So ridiculous! Ronni, I hear you saying that sometimes you may not feel well enough to drive. Yes, it's great to have friends to help you get to the doctor, do errands, etc. You might consider downloading a rideshare app on your phone (like Lyft or Uber) for those times you don't have someone to drive you. So convenient and quick, and not that expensive. Have you ever tried these?

One day!!?? That's absurd for so many reasons. I was going to suggest changing pharmacies, but if it's the insurance company, that's another story entirely. I've got a 7-day window on mine, and I think that's sometimes been stretched to 10. Even so, with so many different drugs to juggle, some requiring calls to the doctor for refills, it seems like I'm going to the pharmacy at least once a week. Love the CVS pharmacy located in my supermarket. But they don't deliver, so some day I may have to shop around for that. I don't do mail order, for reasons I've forgotten, but they were compelling. Besides, my mailbox is a block away, so that wouldn't help much. Autorefill would sometimes refill drugs before I wanted them or after I'd stopped taking them, so it really complicated more than helped.

But one day!? Sic 'em, Crabby. Glad to hear you're back in the fray.

as long as our health care system is for profit this type of thing will happen. Insurance companies are in it for the money as are drug companies etc. Our government does not have the political will to change that and many people are convinced we need to "keep government out of healthcare". A sad state of affairs and based on misinformation funded heavily by those very for profit companies. As long as our citizens remain ignorance this will continue. And even then, many make decisions based on emotion without regard to the actual facts. This country is very backward compared to most other industrialized countries in this regard. Your pharmacy is at the end of a long line of wrong headed decisions. They don't have the power to do much about it unfortunately.

I have to take a BP med and because the generic BP meds are known to be ineffective, often requiring more of the med to keep BP controlled I pay out of pocket for a 90 day supply. Yes, expensive, but a necessity. It also doesn't fall under insurance company rules designed to make them and big pharma more money.

Will look into mail scripts as well. Good luck Ronni! And so glad you're feeling better!

Is it any wonder that even more of us don't "go postal"? I half jokingly tell people that "I don't carry a gun in my car as I'm afraid I'll use it". It seems like violence is becoming the only thing these organizations might respond to. How else can you get their attention. I do have sufficient self-control these days so this is unlikely in my case but...

Glad you are back and gaining strength.

I was missing your crabby old lady posts. I do appreciate your documenting your journey. it will help us all better understand and cope when we end up in similar medical situations.

Hopefully your drug insurance plan allows for mail order for a 90 day supply. Mine does this and I got my asthma/allergy meds this way for years. I stopped and started getting mine at the local CVS for 30 days at a time - I must have been insane because i get 3-4 calls from CVS a week before I need to a refill. Now I am going back to mail order.
Next time you see the doctor who has prescribed this medication - tell him/her about this problem - perhaps you can get some samples to have to use in case you are stuck with the 30 day supply routine - do not let the pharmacy know if you have extras - as they will probably go crazy and decide that you are a drug dealer! What frosts me about the 30 day supply routine is that some months have 31 days but the pharmacy plan will only give me 30 pills. My asthma doctor gave me some samples to fill out the difference when I told him about this.
I am sorry your health insurance company is so unhelpful - contact them and see if it really is their rule or the local pharmacy is being unduly restrictive. Here in the Northeast that rule could be terrible - an ice/snow storm can keep one stuck in the house for a few days at a time and lack of medication can be life harming.

We have dealt with this frequently over the years. Lately, Mom's doctor gives her her new prescription a month before the old one runs out which the pharmacies have filled without question. At least so far. And she gets a 90 day supply which is cheaper.

Ronni, how absurd a rule like that is. I, too, had to give up driving, and have the same difficulty getting my meds picked up now that I have given up driving permanently (a painful adjustment, but after 4 years, easier than I thought it could be. I know we are not supposed to make suggestions of products on here but if you want to email me or use instant message on facebook, I would recommend my supplementary drug insurance--never a problem with them. Glad to hear you are healing so well.

I have Humana Rx thru AARP and have had no problems. If I order thru mail most of my prescriptions are free because they are generic. Also, there is no deductible. If my doctor writes a rx for same day fill, I use a supermarket pharmacy. The staff is always friendly and goes out of their way to be helpful. If you cannot get satisfaction thru a phone call to your insurance company, change your company during the renewal period. In Texas there are several to chose from. It is a chore to have to plug in the medicine you are taking and compare plans in your area but in the end it is worth the trouble.
Keep well.

Welcome back, Crabby....I have missed you! Jane

Yes, yes, very happy to have Crabby back in the saddle! And yes, yes, it's effing outrageous, the nit-picking regulations around prescription-filling. I hope you really give it to the insurance company! (The same is true at my HMO, but I've found that my doc can override it--you might call and ask your doctor to request an early release of the meds . . . )

If you haven't already checked with your Part D provider's website for answers, that's a good place to start. My provider has a search box for questions. "When can I refill a prescription?" got the answer "7 days for a 30 day supply" which is the answer I expected. All I can think is there must be some big mistake in communication between your provider and your pharmacy. There must be a State Insurance commissioner for grievances and how about Better Business Bureau? This is just nuts.

Soooo glad you're back, Crabby! Keep telling it like it is.

Hi all - as an RN for 42 years, I have had so many struggles with insurance companies that I bet I've been on "hold" with them for 7 years of my life (or so it seems). It is true that the first person who answers when you call the insurance company's prescription line usually doesn't know anything about the drug or its implications. It is necessary to speak to someone higher up in their organization. It is actually possible sometimes to have them agree to your request. Their phone number should be on your insurance card. I agree with what others have said re: mail order and 90 day supplies.

On the other hand, I have had pharmacists with whom I had developed a relationship help me around the insurance company rules. Example: years ago, youngest child going out of the country and needed asthma meds and inhalers ahead of time. Pharmacist gave us what he needed and just didn't run it through until it was "time." I doubt most pharmacists would do this, and it does make extra work for them to keep track of it and know when to run it, but the personal touch possibly saved a life!

Welcome back! Heal!!

Yes, welcome to the for-profit system of healthcare.

Until you really need it, you have no idea what the fuss is all about. Before you need it, you don't protest as though your life depended on it. Then,when you need that help, your desperate lonely voice goes nowhere, it seems, when you try to just fix your own situation.

People have no idea how complicated it can become,or seem to become, as we are caught in the mill when we are not all together and functioning.

Wait until you start the paying of your bills--- THAT is a job for a secretary you don't have.
There HAS to be a better easier way!! Crabby Old Lady will be back for that one in a month or two I bet.

Wishing you the best ---

My parents dealt with this hassle in the 80's and 90's, so it's not new, but it's infuriating. Yet another reminder that the people we think work for us actually work for the shareholders. Nuts!

I too had a lot of my pancreas removed in 2009 and was prescribed pancreatic enzymes - Creon brand. It becomes easier as you go on calculating how many to take for a meal or snack. Initially think the doctor prescribed Creon 500 and sometimes I'd need to swallow 5 or 6 of the jolly things! Eventually realised that they actually come in different strengths and it was possible to get 2500 so only one was required (for me) for a main meal.
Don't know if it happens to everyone but after a few years found I didn't need to take them any more - only found out accidentally when I forgot a few times. At the beginning was unable to eat any red meats (especially pork), cream etc but am now able to tolerate them, in moderation.

Regarding insurance I only have personal experience with Australian and UK so-called "socialist" medicine - both leave the US system for dead! Unfortunately both countries are trying to get rid of this system and go to the US private insurance system - shock/horror - if only people knew what it's like! Same with the fear that Americans have about a "socialist" system. In Australia I pay around $6 per Script (that would be 5 bottles of 2500 Creon) and in the UK free for over 60's. In Australia after a certain amount your scripts are free.

Our entire healthcare system needs to be scrapped and replaced--NOT with the Repugnicans' "save the wealthy" tax cut scheme but with single payer. The way it operates now is just plain crazy as Crazy Old Lady so articulately sets forth. SO glad she's back--she's much needed!!

My husband and I are lucky to belong to a large HMO so, essentially, we have a single payer system, although after reading an article about "surprise" billing for ER services, I hope I'm in good enough condition to ask if I need to go there. Apparently, in some areas patients can be transported to an ER that is IN-network only to be billed thousands of dollars by docs who are NOT in-network. They work for a private contractor and are free to bill whatever they want. In many cases no one is obligated to inform the patient about any of this (there is legislation in the works). Welcome to privatized health care!

Stuff like the above is what The Orange Apparition and his private-sector Secretary of Health and Human Services (what a misnomer that is in his case) want to impose on all of us. I'm with COL's fight team. Ordinary Americans can still make it d**n difficult and inconvenient for the folks in WA D.C. to pass legislation that can literally kill many Americans!

"You don't tug on Superman's cape...

You don't spit into the wind...

You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger...

And you don't mess around with the Crabby Old Lady."

Growing old in America is definitely not for sissies! I can't help but wonder what other countries with Universal Health Care go through to get a simple prescription refilled. All the best as you continue to recover and glad you're able to think more clearly. Go easy on yourself.

Above song lyrics by Jim Croce.

You tell it sister!
Glad to know that you are feeling better.

I live in Canada and have no problem getting four months medications when I go south for the winter. I hope those in the US vote accordingly.

well drat I tried to share in fire fox and it isn't possible as I can't see the post button. Either off I go to IE or look for your post on FB.

Well! I'm practically sputtering with indignation! That is the dumbest idea I've heard in a long time. Seems that insurance companies should exist at our behest—not the other way around. Fixing this would require such a long and protracted campaign that it makes me tired just to think about it. This government, and its corporate cronies are just wearing us down...

The more I read of the American "health" system, the more I'm glad I live in Australia.
The last time I went away for an extended period I had a prescription filled (30 days' worth) and I asked if I could get another as I'd be gone longer. The pharmacist said, "Oh sure, just sign the second prescription".
Also, the government subsidises these, so the cost is minimal - around $5.

This made my blood boil. I had the same problem getting a prescription filled a few days ahead schedule when I was leaving on an extended trip abroad. The only way I could get it in the end was to pay the full cost myself. So. Not. Right.
I'm sorry you are facing this.

Transfer your prescriptions to a pharmacy that will deliver. Call your insurance company and see if you can get a waver on the one day thing. That wouldn't work if you were using a by mail pharmacy as I do.

Welcome back, Ronni!

I encountered this for the first time over ten years ago -- "the ins. co. made me do it" reason. I raised holy hell since if I said I was going on vacation, which I quickly lied by saying that's why I wanted it, I had no problem getting the med.

The first of this year my med provider changed. a few months later I received a letter, probably sent to my Dr., saying I wasn't taking my meds which was grossly in error. I queried this new group about this, making quite clear their records were screwed up and later informed my Dr. of same. I informed them they don't know everything my Dr. and I do relative to my few meds. as it doesn't always come down to the number of pills and dosage frequency on the prescription bottle, so "counting the beans" is only part of the picture.

Last week, the "it's too soon to refill your prescription" reared its ugly head again. One reason for my doing so was I didn't want to have to make another trip to pharmacy, but this was also a brand new prescription of an old med I was taking all along that my Dr. had written for me to increase my allotment of this particular med. for logical reasons. Following repeated denials I became irate and asked to talk directly with ins. pharma denying this order. I don't know what my pharmacist did then, or if they talked to someone, but I was finally told to wait a few minutes and then received my med.

None of my few meds are narcotics, pain meds -- anything remotely addictive. I understand why they try to track people's use and/or abuse of meds, but they're incompetent doing it and aren't even exercising common sense judgments. Imagine what it will be like if it becomes -- or maybe it already is -- computer, robot, AI totally.

I've been down the road where one company years ago tried to coerce me through bullying into using their mail order service with a 3 month supply that I repeatedly refused to do. I was initially kind but after his not accepting my declining the offer several times I'd had enough. He was so rude and insulting that I should have reported him to the company, but my life was so hectic and busy that I didn't have time to do it. Made sense for my husband to use their mail order plan given all the meds and their expense, plus he carefully ordered them well in advance because they came from a different State. Even at that, there was at least one occasion when they never arrived in enough advance time and even came quite late despite his meticulous follow-up phone calls about the situation. My independent pharmacy that offers many other services no mail order service provides, is across the street from my Dr's office. They will provide delivery if I ever need it.

I've not been diagnosed as senile, incompetent, incapable of handling my own business affairs, or having cognitive problems including memory, and am independent for functional daily living activities. I thoroughly resent having my life complicated in this manner and will combat it in every instance. If they're going to make my life miserable, I'll return the favor. How else will they get the message? If I'm labeled a crotchety old lady -- I don't care!

Hang in there Grumpy Old Lady, this Crotchety Old Lady is on the same band wagon!

Insurance is crazy. I take blood pressure meds. If the pharmacy runs it through my insurance, I can only get 30 pills at a time and it costs about $15 each month. If I don't use insurance and just pay out of pocket, I can get 90 pills in one go and pay about $17 total. How does this make sense?

If your insurance company won't budge on this ridiculous rule, your doctor may be able to write you a second script that overlaps the first, so you alternately fill one and then the other -- this could give you more time (the overlapping days) to get the first script refilled

I am disgusted and outraged by the situation you describe in this post and once again feeling grateful for the health care system here in Italy where I live.
I am also VERY impressed by the news in the first few paragraphs of this post and thrilled to be reading Crabby's thoughts again.

When asking myself 'why' about any insurance question, the first answer I come up with is they are hoping you die before you cost them any more money. Give 'em hell, Crabby!

God I love you Ronni. And I think Crabby is my soul sister.
I have the questionable good fortune to have been selected for a "Consumers Advisory Board" for my Medicare (take) Advantage POS health insurance. I might have changed their name-oh-just slightly.

I told them, at the first meeting, about going thru these hoops before one of my extended trips to Costa Rica back before I broke so many bones and still travelled. I was house sitting for 4 months and having dental work done also.

I recently received a note that the person in charge of pills at the ins company is coming to our next meeting and this topic is first on our agenda.
I know it does not help you now but even being heard at the meeting was empowering for me and knowing that it's possible to make changes in ins companies practices is a good feeling.

Speak out, everyone. Call your ins company and keep going up the line. That's what got me on the board, BTW. I've called and emailed several questions and complaints and if I didn't like the answer, I kept going up the line.

I now have the Providence Health Care CEO's card in my wallet. She's very approachable and I've actually called her since the meeting to discuss something.

Providence, for those of you not in the Pacific Northwest, is a local consortium of hospitals, doctors and the like with offices, and an actual call center here in my suburban town.

Yup - heartily recommend using a "local" pharmacist as opposed to big box retailers.

Bowman's Hillside Pharmacy
6256 SW Capital Hwy
Portland, OR 97239
Hillsdale, Southwest Portland

Phone number (503) 244-7582

Would this pharmacy be close to you?

Hugs to Crabby

https://www.facebook.com/bowmanshillsdalepharmacy/

Dear Ronni, it's like the fox guarding the chicken coop. Peace.

We had a similar problem with our pharmacy located in a large chain grocery store. We took the advice of your friends and are in the process of switching to an independently-owned pharmacy. By the way, it is a family-owned facility and the name was familiar to me because one of it's members worked alongside of me many years ago in a hospital laboratory. He was one of the top performers in our lab and had ambitions to work in the forensic lab with the police department. He loved his work and had a great work ethic. We also worked with the Sedgwick County Coroner who was world-reknowned forensic pathologist, William E. Eckert, M.D. It seems a lucky coincidence led me to this pharmacy and I am grateful for the suggestions of you and your other followers!

I, too, have had a situation with having to come back another day to pick up a prescription, but in my case it was 2 days ahead of time, not due to insurance rules, but store rules where I live. I just wanted to pick up all of my prescriptions in one trip. So two days later I had to make another trip back to Walgreens.

At that same Walgreens, the new trend I have been noticing is to not have the full quantity for the prescription ready, these are common, run of the mill blood pressure, diabetes, and thyroid medications, nothing exotic. So then there are more trips back to pick up the second installment of the meds. The other day I got to wondering if they are purposely doing this so people will make extra trips into the store to pick up the meds and also do a little impulse buying while we are there. Oh, darn me and my conspiracy theories. Anyway, with that thought in mind, I have very much limited my buying anything at all inside of that store, and only get prescriptions at the drive thru window.

With my insurance company some of the three month at a time mail order refills are more expensive than it is to get them at the pharmacy. Other medications that I take for asthma and diabetes are very much more expensive at Walgreens than through the mail order program. I would order all of my meds through my insurance mail order if some of them weren't more expensive that way, then I wouldn't have to be aggravated by all of the extra trips to the pharmacy.

When it comes to prescriptions, pharmacies, and insurance companies, convenience is not something that seems to be improving as the years go by.

You know, I keep seeing posts on FB and elsewhere about how awful 'ObamaCare' is and how dreadful it would be if we went to a 'socialist' system like that here in the UK. I can't speak for the US system never having had to suffer it, although the ludicrously high costs are clear.

So let me tell you how it works here. When my prescription looks low, I go online to my doctors, order a prescription renewal and about 3 days later I get an SMS message from the pharmacist to tell me it's ready to collect, the prescription having been sent electronically to them. We have three pharmacists in town and I can nominate any of them. If I'm willing to pick up the prescription I can take it to any pharmacist, anywhere in the UK to have it filled. If I want to I can also set up the online ordering system to email me a reminder at the appropriate time.

If I'm likely to be away, or over holiday periods like Christmas/New Year I renew early. No questions, no petty rules.

Incidentally, if I have to actuallysee the doctor, I get an SMS confirmation of the appointment. My dentist doesn't do that, but on the other hand they ring me up the day before to remind me.

I'm sorry you have to put up with such nonsense Ronni, but it seems to be the inevitable consequence of the incredibly bureaucratic and costly US health "system".

Welcome back, Crabby Old Lady!
The combination of two outlooks in one blog is delightful!!
Stay ornery ... we love you for it!

Contact your insurance company or ask your Doctor to do it. If the company supplies a way to contact one of their nurses, do that. Some insurance companies hire nurses who are case workers and will help you with these kind of issues. If not contact their customer service line and ask to talk to a supervisor. Keep pushing until you are connected with a supervisor. take notes and names of who you talked to, what they said. Some Insurance companies make it easy for the client, some do not. Hope this helps.

I know there must be good doctors out there but I don't trust any of them unfortunately so I just don't go for now. And that worries me because I could have something happen suddenly and I would not have a doctor who has ever seen me or knows my history. I am 78 years old so I know I am definitely old now but I do think if you think old, then you will be old so I try to continue to find new adventures to keep me going. Maybe I should plan ahead but honestly, I like living each day and hoping for the best.

I hope you are doing well, Ronni..I so admire your spunk so much AND the wisdom and intellect in your writings. You never cease to amaze me.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)