Friday, November 4, 2016

Life as a ping pong ball...

That's what I've been feeling like the past couple of days-a ping pong ball, getting bounced around between Medicare, CVS pharmacy and my doctor's office.  I'm quite certain many of you have had the same feeling if you substitute your health insurance company for Medicare.

The issue we're talking about in this particular case is my prescription glucose test strips.  For the past 10 years I've only had to pay $10 out of pocket for a box of $80 test strips.  But when I went to pick up the last refill, the cost to me was over $80.  I asked why and they said Medicare refused to cover them because I'm only prediabetic, not a full diabetic.  I went back to my doctor and they said they don't understand the problem either. They coded the refill the same as always.  They suggested I call Medicare.

Now I've only had a couple of instances where I've had to call Medicare about something.  When I did, I was surprised to get fast efficient service. Not this time.  This time they said they really don't know why I wasn't covered.  I said if you don't know, then who does?  Sorry, the best that can happen is my doctor call the Medicare provider line or I pay for them outright and submit a claim. 

By now I was a tad agitated. I went back to my doctor (actually the nurse) who called the provider line and was informed that I needed to take the scrip to a medical supply house rather than a pharmacy.

Sooooo, I drive to my doc's office, get the scrip, call the supply house they recommended and was told sorry, we don't stock them anymore.  Pharmacies have taken over supplying test strips.

Now I'm really fuming.  While pondering my next move I did a Google search for glucose test strips, found a company in Boca Raton, FL that will supply the same brand and quantity for-wait for it-$19.95.  I was amazed.  Medicare was paying over $80 for the same thing I can get for $20.

A little further research revealed I can get the same test strips through Amazon for $15 and without a scrip as long as I don't go through insurance! 

I couldn't believe it.  What a system. Medicare (read the tax payer) is getting whacked for a product that has a 600% markup.  Is that true of other meds? 

If I were president I'd blow the cover off this whole scam.  In fact I think I'll write my Congressman.  There needs to be an investigation.  Stay tuned. I'm on a mission now.

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