Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MORE Affordable Heathcare? Not Really.

Over the past few weeks I've noticed that my compound creams have started to lose their potency, so I called in to have them both refilled (I have two: one for my neck and one for my ankles). Here is where the fun begins...

Back in September, I received two letters from my insurance company stating that they would no longer be covering compound creams with certain medications in them. Of course, among those listed, were quite a few that I noticed were ingredients in both my creams. Oh joy.

The medications that are no longer covered

I called the pharmacy that handles my ankle cream and told them that before they refilled my prescription that I would like to know how much my cost would be since my insurance coverage had changed. The customer service person quoted me $55 for 4oz of the “cash alternative”. Not too bad! I had heard horror stories of prescription pain creams that were over one thousand dollars out of pocket. I considered myself lucky and was thrilled at my new price. Then I asked what the difference was between this “cash alternative” and my original prescription. I got put on hold as he didn't know the answer.

The inserts that came with my pain creams
When the pharmacist picked up, she told me that my new cream would be almost as effective as the original one, because some of the ingredients were different in this new one and the percentages of the medications used would be lessened to allow for cost savings. Umm, would this really be effective for me considering all these changes? I mean, it's not like I have a little tennis elbow or something. Hmm. So I asked how much the out of pocket cost would be if I just got my original prescription instead of the “cash alternative”. I mean, my current cream seems to be working just takes the edge off most days. And even though I still have some pain that I have to deal with, it does help. I was put back on hold again.

This time the customer service guy came back on to quote me my out of pocket cost... 


Holy. Fuck.

Well, I guess that's why I've heard crazy rumors about the outstanding costs of compound pain creams...because they are fucking true! This is outrageous! My jaw is still on the floor from shock.

Sooo....I'm going with the $55 “cash alternative” cream. Shocker! I figure that it's worth a try...and what other choice do I really have? It's either this, or I start taking narcotic pain killers for my pain. And I really don't want to do that!

And the compound cream that I use for my neck...I don't have an estimate on that cost yet since there were no more refills on that prescription and my doctor denied a refill over the phone. I have an appointment next week to see her and we will discuss what my options are if I cannot affordably get the same cream as before. Cross your fingers that she has some reasonable answers and options! I don't think I can handle another $2000 quote.

On a related note...

I would just like to say “thank you” to all of the sleazy politicians who have made my health care MORE affordable. You're doing a bang up job. 

 And fuck the FDA.


  1. There are so many fundamental problems with the way healthcare works its ridiculous. No cream should possibly be able to cost that much to begin with. Not unless the main ingredient is gold dust. Then I might understand. Insurance companies are getting sleazier by the year. Pharmaceutical companies tend to be sleazy. Politicians have always been, and likely will always be, sleazy. The FDA is certainly riddled with issues.

    Good luck! I hope you get things figured out soon.

    1. I am in agreement with all of this ^^^. Thanks, I hope I get it figured out too! Fingers crossed that this "cash alternative" works!

  2. Like most everything it seems to be about the money and where it goes - or who gets it. As a citizen I feel last on the food chain. You had it right at "Holy. Fuck."