May 21, 2009

A rant about health insurance

I had a good day mostly except for the following. Dr G wrote me a new Rx for tincture of opium. Swedish Hospital pharmacy is the only place I could find in Seattle that stocks it. I dropped off my prescription and went to lunch with a friend.

A second pharmacist told me that my health insurance provider would not authorize a new prescription until May 30. I told him that I had told the doctor I spilled some of this medication and have only a bit left for the next few days. The pharmacist asked me to wait while he confirmed this with the doc and called the health insurance company.

Half an hour later the pharmacist told me that the insurance provider refused to authorize any more of this drug until May 30, regardless of the circumstances. If I paid for the drug myself it would cost $174 ($50 if covered by the health insurance, still a hefty copay).

They filled my other prescriptions (a $10 copay each for vicodin and Megace). I need to start the Megace either tonight or tomorrow morning, must read up on it.

I left the pharmacy after almost three hours of this game without my opium prescription. Next step? Call the insurance company and see what I can do to be a squeaky wheel and get the meds my doctor believes I need.


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