Ever since I became a freelance technical writer and consultant, I’ve have to pay an eye-watering amount for health insurance.
Even then, my insurance doesn’t cover things that I would think would be no-brainers. As one example, about six months ago my doctor prescribed a tube of Denavir cream for use with cold sores / fever blisters.
This tube is so small that — if it were any smaller — it wouldn’t actually be able to hold any cream. It’s only available by prescription in the USA, but the equivalent can be purchased over the counter in the UK for about 5 UK pounds, which would be about $6.90 USD.
However, when I went to the pharmacist, they said that my insurance wouldn’t cover it and so the charge would be $600. At first, I thought I’d developed a hearing problem, but they were adamant that I was hearing what they were saying. Fortunately, there was nothing wrong with my legs, so I instructed them to rotate my body through 180 degrees and take me home.
Ever since I moved to the USA, I’ve heard about Medicare, which is a national health insurance program that primarily provides health insurance for Americans and Permanent Residents aged 65 and older.
To be honest, I never really paid much attention to things like this on the basis that I could worry about it when I got older. Then I got older. I’ll be 65 next year and I understand that I have to sign up for Medicare about three months in advance of my birthday.
The great thing about Medicare is that I’ll be paying much, much less than I’m paying now. The problem is that it’s not a simple as saying, “Hello, I’d like to sign up for Medicare please.” It turns out that there are Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D plans, and Medicare Supplements, and Medicare Advantage Plans. There are also myriad companies that provide these plans, each one saying that they are better than all the others.
I like to think that I’m reasonably intelligent — at least with respect to some things — but when it comes to Medicare, I haven’t got a clue what to do.
Does it really have to be this complicated?
Of course it doesn’t have to be so complicated, but it is. I believe I could help you with this since I have had Medicare for a number of years. I will send you my phone number by email if you are interested.
Hi Charles — I’d love to chat with you about this (but it will have to be next week because I’m slammed this week) — maybe we could set up a Zoom call?
Quite often there are “coupons”. Search for them or a good pharmacist will know. On Medicare , I’m obvious too. But I have a smart wife.
You are smart to have a smart wife — I have a younger wife who is close to years away from having to worry about Medicare, so she’s of no help whatsoever LOL
you missed the “memo” by Jimmy Soul – if you wanna be happy
“Clap your hands”? LOL
This reminds me, I need to get this figured out. I should have signed up last year but there is a loophole because I have employee coverage… Which disappears at the end of the eyar so I’d better get moving on this.
Reminding people of stuff like this is just one more service I offer LOL
Make sure to load GoodRX on your smartphone. You do not have to set up an account, and you do NOT have to pay for a membership. Even though I have insurance I find I can often save a lot more by using GoodRX- often a 90% saving or more.
Unfortunately, Denavir is still extremely expensive, but GoodRX offered alternatives such as Abreva and Zovirax that cost less than $20. You’ll have to go back to your doctor and see if one of those would be acceptable.
That’s great advice — I’ve seen adverts on TV, but always thought “there must be a catch” — but I trust you so I just downloaded it to my phone — now I can;t wait to try it 🙂 Thanks Rick