This year, my employer changed to a high-deductible plan to help maintain some sense of sanity with our health insurance premiums. Because my wife and I both need maintenance prescriptions to live, we began to learn how to manage deductibles and to work to keep our health-related expenses to a minimum. So I found places like GoodRx and others that help you with the cost of your medicine.
We recently exceeded our deductible and now pay 10% of the costs. So I was surprised when the cost of my Crestor was $30. You see, the cost of the Crestor before the deductible had been met was around $225 or less. I didn’t remember exactly what it was, but since I was paying more like 15% instead of 10% I thought I’d check.
GoodRx showed the drug as costing $227 at my local neighborhood Walgreens, in Collinsville, OK. This did require that I use a free coupon. So I decided to go back to Walgreens and offer them the coupon to reduce the burden on my insurance company. I was intrigued that the coupon would be worth $49. It seems a bit steep.
When I got back there, I was told that the $227 price was only if I was paying the bill. If they bill the insurance company, they bill $276. Interesting.
What do you think? Would you continue to support a business that charged your insurance company 20% more for the same drug? Would you continue to support an insurance company or vote for elected officials if they suggest that 20% is a fair price to pay for the insurance overhead, in addition to premiums? I’d appreciate your opinions below, assuming they’re civil.
You can also go here and tell Walgreens what you think. Feel free to refer to this article too. I don’t think my insurance company should pay the extra $50. I don’t care what you think about insurance companies. They don’t print the money they pay Walgreens. They collect it from us.
Note: In the end, Walgreens wasn’t charging more to the insurance company. When I got to the bottom of it, they were doing the right thing and I still use this store for my prescriptions.
I too have started comparing prices using the same app, but I am having trouble understanding how Walgreens can justify over charging so much? Using Good Rx, my Rx is quoted at $305 at Walgreens, and they charge $741. Thats over 100% more than the quoted price.
Is it legal to say “I don’t have or I don’t want to use my insurance?” and then pay for the less expensive ‘out of pocket’ price with an HSA debit card? That didn’t seem honest to me, so I paid the full price, thinking that I would meet my deductible after month 2.
After 4 months of not being able to afford it, I called my doctor (yesterday) and asked for a different prescription. For a very similar drug I’m now paying $50. Unfortunately I still use Walgreens although I no longer promote them via word of mouth… And I have to wonder if they have the right to charge anything they want?
I don’t feel they deserve my business, but they get me with convenience. I can go to any store and they already have my account info and insurance info in the system. I don’t have to re verify when going to a different town. My prescription is almost always ready in 20 minutes and they’re open 24/7 in some locations. I can order from my phone. I can check status on my phone. I haven’t every had to go back or report a mistake ever. And they always provide excellent customer service. Its a high price to pay for convenience and I will still likely switch in the future.
This does seem like a steep price for convenience. I’m fascinated at the possibility for waste. I wonder if any insurance companies report your total costs compared to your total premium every year.