Home > Archive: February, 2006

Archive for February, 2006

Trying to get Back into the Swing of Things

February 22nd, 2006 at 10:56 pm

Mom was released from the hospital Saturday and I've been trying to normalize things around the house.

As a result of the stroke, she is on a bunch of new and very expensive medications that had to be filled that day. Her prior prescription insurance ended 12/31/05 and she is not on any Medicare Rx plan. While I was at the hospital I entered her information on Medicare's website and was shocked to find out that the cheapest plan for her would be $2400 out of pocket for the year! AARP plan (the one I would have liked to get her on) was going to be $4000 out of pocket! That's when I started to look into Costco prices and Canadian pharmacies and try to figure out our options. What I've come up with is that some meds are cheaper at Costco and using a AAA card will get an additional discount! Guess what I signed up for? AAA. Some of the other drugs are cheaper thru Canadian pharmacies. For the most expensive drugs, I looked into patient assistance programs. I think I've got one covered but still waiting to hear from a couple of the other doctors about the meds she gets from them. Because these drugs are new and my mom is not yet stabilzed, there will be more adjustments, therefore I still can't comment about the yearly cost yet, but it seems it will be cheaper than going thru Medicare Rx.

In short, others have also decided that Medicare Rx plans are NOT in their best interest if they have not shifted assets to their kids or cashed in their IRA's/401k's before they are ready to sign on. Talking to patients in rehab, it is easier to get a good idea about how real people are going about paying (or not paying) for drugs.

Anyway, she needed drugs the day she came out of the hospital so I went to Target's pharmacy and paid $244 for 7 different prescriptions (I skipped the most expensive since samples are available at the doctor)! Was I HOT. One of the meds should have been dosed higher to allow for pill splitting but I didn't catch it when the doctor handed over the scripts to me. Oh well, live and learn. Stuff like that only adds to my determination to bring the costs down.

The caregiver of 3 years is leaving this Saturday and a new one is taking her place. This time we are going thru an agency and I'm filling out the paperwork for the Home Care policy to start paying on this claim. My bro paid the first caregiver out of his pocket as she was not affiliated with any agency and hence we couldn't use the policy benefits. All the while paying the premiums. I'm not sad to see her go. It was an uneasy situation in the home, but my bro liked her because they shared the same fanatical attitude about a clean home. Appearances mean A LOT to my brother and a spotless home was more important than an attentive caregiver for my mother. Never mind that he doesn't even live with us. This time, things are going to be different! I'm picking the caregiver and if it means going thru 10 of them so be it! Mom will be first and the house second. Having the policy pay will also serve to keep him from thinking he is entitled to have say as to what passes in the home as clean since it's not going to be his money at stake anymore. Unfortunately, he tends to throw money at problems, in turn, causing even more problems.

Saving While at the Hospital

February 4th, 2006 at 10:41 pm

For those of you that don't know, my mom had a stroke on 1/19/06 and I'vee been at the hospital and rehab with her day and night. Thank God hospitals now have internet access for everyone. I think I would have lost my mind by now. It's great to be able to read everyones blogs and the forum. Thanks.

So......while reading the threads at someone posted a 50 cent rate for W,Th,Su Chicago Trib! I thought paying $1/wk was good. Luckily the poster included the operator code (036B) and I was able to switch over to that rate for a year. Saved $26!

My brother brought my car over to the hospital so that I get to my classes Fri nights and Sat mornings. As I was exiting the lot to go to class the attendant wanted $9 for parking. Maybe the way I looked (sleepy and tired) made him ask if I was going to continue staying overnight. I said that I'll be here for at least another 2 weeks. He then told me about a extended parking pass. $25 for 2 weeks! I could come and go as I pleased. What a gem that was. Not only did I get the pass, it also gives me a 15% discount on the cafeteria food! Saw the attendant this morning as I was leaving for class and thanked him profusely. Why don't they advertise this? My brother's FIL was at this same hospital a few years ago and his family had no idea this was offered. They spent a fortune on parking!