The High Cost of Living: Paying for Vital Prescriptions

The High Cost of Living: Paying for Vital Prescriptions
When I quit my full-time job to focus on my freelancing career earlier this year, I gave up a steady salary. Worse, though, I also gave up all the benefits that went along with it, including a terrific PPO health insurance plan that covered my Remicade infusions entirely with no out-of-pocket cost. When I transitioned to coverage under my husband’s high-deductible health plan (HDHP), I knew there would be some changes to my coverage. But I was unaware of how drastic the difference would be financially, especially for the cost of my only two prescriptions: my anti-rejection medication tacrolimus for my liver transplant and Remicade (infliximab) for Crohn’s. I was first hit with sticker shock when I had to refill my prescription for tacrolimus. Under my PPO, after meeting a $50 annual deductible for prescriptions, I only had a $10 copay. With the HDHP, the cost would be more than $450 a month until my husband and I met our total plan annual deductible of $3,500. My Remicade infusion was scheduled for a few weeks later and I could possibly meet our deductible with that alone. So I decided to pay the cash price of $151 instead of claiming my prescription on insurance to save money in the meantime. Based on past insurance claims, I knew my provider charged around $4,700 per Remicade infusion. Because the price included both the medication and the infusion service, I was unsure how my new insurance would cover the claim. I was confused by the
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