have medicaid and medicare but need drugs badly

This is the "cry for help" forum. Provide as much info as you feel comfortable (we do not need your name, address, ID numbers, etc.) and someone will answer within hours hopefully (maximum time 1 day). If you do not wish to disclose any information in a public post you can register using an anonymous email address and then send a private message to dlcnurse, NoPocketCash, or jimithy.

THE SPECIFIC IDEAS PRESENTED SHOULD NOT BE FOLLOWED BLINDLY. YOU SHOULD MAKE YOUR OWN CHOICES AS FAR AS TREATMENTS, PHARMACIES, MEDICATIONS, ETC. ANY SPECIFIC EXAMPLE GIVEN IS JUST THAT... AN EXAMPLE TO SHOW WE ARE GIVING "REAL WORLD" COSTS AND IDEAS.
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have medicaid and medicare but need drugs badly

Postby bptabby » Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:48 am

Hi,
I recently went to Menninger Clinic in Houston for an evaluation. I found out some things and they would not accept me into a program I wanted to go into, but that's a different story.
Instead they are suggesting an out of state treatment center which is $9000 a month for the first 2 months, then you can apply for financial aid.
My parents don't have that kind of money and either do I.
So I need help with drugs badly.

I am on the following :

5 mgs Lexapro, 100 mgs Seroquel, 85 mgs Strattera, 4 mgs Ativan, 3 mgs Lunesta.

Then others

145 mgs Tricor, 0.137 synthroid, 1500 mgs Glucophage XR, 5 mgs Zomig,

I think thats it.

Thanks for all your help...

bptabby
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Help is on its way!

Postby jimithy » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:52 pm

bptabby,

We are working with your list of drugs.

If you give us a little more information we can be most effective at getting your costs as low as possible.

It is important to know each pills dosage. The cost per mg of a drug varies tremendously with the strength of the pill. Strangely enough, the stronger pills almost always cost much less per mg than lower dosage pills.

We cannot guess about this. For example, you wrote that you take 100mg of Seroquel. Many people take this as one pill at bedtime. Many take 50mg at night and 50mg in the morning. Other people take 25mg pills as needed and they average 100mg per day.

It helps a lot to know what you are currently paying for each specific drug per month. That allows us to eliminate various methods that would be of no use to you.

Knowing your household income and number of people in your household can also help. There are assistance programs that help people with incomes of $60,000/year. Your parents might balk at this but you can tell them it could save a great deal of money. Also, you can explain that no one knows who you are here so that information is of no use anywhere else.

We will work with the information you have given us so far, but if you want the lowest costs then the extra information is needed.

Thanks for posting! :D

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Postby NoPocketCash » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:35 pm

Welcome to Slash Drug Costs, bptabby. :)

It sounds like you've really got a lot on your plate and I wish there was a way you could get into one of the treatment programs you investigated. In the meantime, let's see what we can do to help you get your medications for the lowest possible cost.

Since you indicate you're from Cincinnati and have both Medicaid and Medicare, I'm assuming you're covered under Ohio's Medicaid program along with Medicare. I've checked into the Ohio program somewhat and found that it pretty much requires you to get your medications through a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. I don't know how long you've been covered under either Medicare or Medicaid, but there are instances where Medicaid will provide some financial assistance with the Part D premiums, plan deductibles and reduced copays.

The fact that you're paying more than you can afford for your meds makes me think that they're coming through the Part D plan. If so, at this point in the year you would almost certainly have reached the coverage gap...or "donut hole"...where very few Part D plans pay for your meds.

It would help me a lot if you could give me a little info on your Part D plan. Just basic stuff like if it has any coverage in the gap, if it offers mail order, what your copays generally run. Also...it's getting near January 1st, when you can change your Part D provider if you're not getting the best coverage from the plan you have now.

And as jimithy wrote, we can give you the best suggestions if we know the exact strengths of each medication you're taking. His explanations are right on target! What you provided was great...knowing the total you take each day can also help us better help you.

Please don't let this request for more information intimidate you. You'll remain completely anonymous to everyone here and we're not trying to pry into your personal life. It's just that the more specifics we have, the better we can help you cut your drug costs :!:

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Postby jimithy » Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:01 pm

bptabby,

First, let me remind you that none of us give professional advice and that ANY changes to your medications should be discussed with the doctor prescribing it.

Something that can be good to know is warnings and interactions with your medications. Extremely safe medications can have a warning. This information should be used as a guide for safely using your medications.

Virtually anyone taking several drugs will have some with warnings and some that interact with each other. This does not mean you should stop the drugs. It is wise to know about warnings and interactions though.

National Institute Of Health (NIH) Medication Warnings:
Lunesta http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/dr ... nlm34071-1
Seroquel http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/dr ... nlm34071-1
Ativan http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/dr ... nlm34071-1
synthroid http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/dr ... nlm34071-1
Glucophage http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/dr ... nlm34071-1
Zomig http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/dr ... nlm34071-1

If you have problems with depression, you should know that 3 of your medications interract with each other in a way that MIGHT make this problem worse. These medications are Ativan, Lunesta, and Seroquel.

Two of your medications interract to increase the chance of a uncommon problem called Serotonin Syndrome. They are Lexapro and Zomig. Lexapro is called a SSRI. Zomig is called a triptan. Here is a quote from the government's NIH Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia:
Serotonin syndrome most often occurs when two drugs that affect the body's level of serotonin are taken together at the same time. The drugs cause too much serotonin to be released or to remain in the brain area.

For example, you can develop this syndrome if you take migraine medicines called triptans together with antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). Popular SSRI's include Celexa, Zoloft, Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Lexapro. SNRI's include Cymbalta, and Effexor. Brand names of triptans include Imitrex, Zomig, Frova, Maxalt, Axert, Amerge, and Relpax.

The FDA recently asked the manufacturers of these types of drugs to include warning labels on their products that tell you about the potential risk of serotonin syndrome. Talk to your doctor before stopping any medication.

Serotonin syndrome is more likely to occur when you first start or increase the medicine.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency ... 007272.htm There is more information on that web page if you wish to read it.

Like I wrote before... this information is not to scare you or get you to change these medications. It is just to inform you of possible things to watch for. As the National Library of Medicine states, "Physicians have always known that an informed patient who takes an active role is a 'better' patient
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Postby Bill-W » Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:38 pm

# Diabetes METFORMIN 1000mg Tablet* 60
# Diabetes METFORMIN 500mg ER Tablet* 60

$4.00 Glucophage generics at Wallmart not sure about Metformin XR

-------------------------------------------------------------------
# Thyroid LEVOTHYROXIN 100mcg Tablet 30
# Thyroid LEVOTHYROXIN 112mcg Tablet 30
# Thyroid LEVOTHYROXIN 125mcg Tablet 30
# Thyroid LEVOTHYROXIN 150mcg Tablet 30
# Thyroid LEVOTHYROXIN 175mcg Tablet* 30
# Thyroid LEVOTHYROXIN 25mcg Tablet 30
# Thyroid LEVOTHYROXIN 50mcg Tablet 30
# Thyroid LEVOTHYROXIN 75mcg Tablet 30
# Thyroid LEVOTHYROXIN 88mcg Tablet 30
# Thyroid LEVOTHYROXINE 200mcg Tablet* 30

$4.00 Synthroid generics at Wallmart read warning below.

The consideration of the issue was triggered by Abbott Laboratories, manufacturer of Synthroid, which was trying to argue the case that the means by which the FDA currently designates bioequivalent levothyroxine products is flawed, and presents a possible danger to patients if generic levothyroxine products are approved. Abbott was proposing that multi-dose studies involving patients with no thyroid function be done in order to establish bioequivalence. More here... http://thyroid.about.com/cs/synthroid1/a/generic.htm
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Welcome and Good Luck
Bill
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Postby bptabby » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:31 am

I take 5 mgs of Lexapro in the morning and probably going up to 10 mgs sometime soon.

I take .137 of synthroid in the morning

I take 750 mgs glucophage xr in the morning

I take 1 mg of ativan in the morning

I take 85 mgs of Strattera in the morning

I take 10 mgs of Singular in the morning

I take 1 mg of ativan at noon

I take 750 mgs of glucophage xr at dinner

right after I eat I take 145 mgs of tricor

at bedtime I take 3 mgs of lunesta

at bedtime I take 1 mg of ativan

at bedtime I take 100 mgs of seroquel

at bedtime I take 10 mgs of zyrtec

I will find out the prices of these drugs later... I have to run to an appointment now...

bptabby
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Postby jimithy » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:55 am

Thanks bptabby,

This information will help us a lot. Combined with the pricing (with copay information) we should be able to present you with a range of options.

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Postby bptabby » Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:22 pm

I know from speaking to the pharmacist today and getting my lunesta last night 2 of my drugs are nothing...

my Strattera costs $0

my lunesta cost $0

I will get a list from my pharmacy today.

I know I am being charged for the lexapro , ativan, zyrtec, not sure what else.

bptabby
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Postby bptabby » Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:44 pm

Ok,
I got some of the drugs I have gotten this month so far.

15 tablets of 10 mgs of lexapro cost $50.29

nothing for zyrtec, must have gone over limit on that for the year

nothing for lunesta

nothing for strattera

I will get more information when I renew more prescribtions but this is a start.

bptabby
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Postby jimithy » Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:02 am

bptabby,

It is GREAT :-) that you are already buying 10mg Lexapro and splitting the pills into 5mg doses. That is one of the easiest ways to save.

The amount you are paying for lexapro can be reduced further though.

You said you are paying $50.29 for 15 tablets of 10mg Lexapro or a little more than $3.35 per tablet. That is expensive. If you are using your Medicare Part D insurance coverage at that pharmacy then they could be charging you the artificial price created for the insurance company.

Part D insurance companies have a lot of reason to inflate drug prices in their plans. It puts you in the
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Postby bptabby » Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:35 am

Ok, I got the rest of my prices for my drugs.

I am paying $123.49 for 30 pills of 145 mgs of Tricor

I am paying $25.89 for 30 pills of my 0.137 mcgs of Synthroid

I am paying $8.66 for 60 pills of my Ativan

I am paying $50.29 for 15 pills of my lexapro

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Postby bptabby » Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:41 am

I also started taking Topamax again 50 mgs. I didn't pay anything for 30 pills for some reason. It might be because I had a prescription for it earlier this year. I might be going up to 100 mgs in it. Its for my migraine prevention.
My family doc gave me some samples of lexapro today. I will hit her up again when I see her before I leave for treatment.
But in the meantime, my drug company is presuring me to switch to a PPO or HMO. I am going to be discussing it with the lady I volunteer for on Monday because many of her clients are on disability and had to switch to Medicare part D plans last year also.

bptabby
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Postby jimithy » Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:50 am

bptabby,

You have gotten responses on the Synthroid and Lexapro. I have been doing thorough research on the Tricor and have some things that can be done.

A difficulty is that we do not understand the unusual situation you have with your Medicare Part D provider. If you read our Medicare Part D Subject area you will find that very substantial savings can be gotten... not only by picking the best provider for your needs... but by how you purchase your medications throughout the year.

One person that asked for help with their Medicare Part D actually saved thousands of dollars per year by changing how he used the insurance. He didn't change any medications and he did not change the Medicare Part D provider he was using.

It is currently in the enrollment period for Medicare Part D insurance for 2008. If you are going to make changes then they need to be done before mid-December in order to make sure you do not get a gap in coverage. Many people are stuck without a way to buy their medications in January because their Medicare Part D insurance provider has not completed their enrollment in time.

You wrote:
But in the meantime, my drug company is presuring me to switch to a PPO or HMO.
This is a very unusual thing to say... "my drug company" is meaningless to us with our current level of knowledge about your situation. People almost always get their medications from a number of drug companies.

Perhaps you are referring to an medication assistance program? We really need to know what you mean.

We had asked for information that might allow you to receive very low cost or free medications through one of hundreds of possible assistance programs. You could definitely save the most if you qualify for certain of these programs. They have income requirements and that is why we asked about the total income in your household and the total number of people in your household. Given such information we can search for programs that you might qualify for. Most people do not realize it but you can be enrolled in many medication assistance programs at the same time.

So I will get you the information to lower your Tricor costs. If you truly want to limit your costs as much as possible; we need to understand your situation better.

It is good that you are getting free samples of Lexapro from your family doctor. It is important that mental health drugs be prescribed by a psychiatrist though. Just as you would not go to your family doctor for chemotherapy drugs for cancer... because he does not have the specific knowledge depth about the medications that a cancer specialist does... you should not get mental health medication prescriptions from a family doctor because he does not have the depth of knowledge that a psychiatrist does.


You wrote:
I will hit her up again when I see her before I leave for treatment.
You have not told us about leaving for treatment. If you are going to be absent for a while it would be good for us to know it because it gives us more time to find the best possible solutions for you.

Good luck with the migraines. They wipe me out and it is hard to imagine how I could be more miserable than when I am having one. :-)
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Postby bptabby » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:55 am

I talked to my mental health advocate today and we called my prescription drug company. I thought they were pressuring me to switch plans but I was mistaken.

My family doc gave me 1 week of Lexapro and my pdoc upped my Lexapro to 10 mgs over Thanksgiving. It cost $82.39 . We asked the drug company why I am having to pay for Lexapro. They said this year I have to pay for it, but in 2008 it will be covered.

I will be leaving in mid-January for a residental treatment center near Asheville, North Carolina for 3 or more years. This is why I am looking for help with meds. It costs $9,000 the 1st 2 months in treatment then you can apply for financial aid.

The pdoc tries to make you a resident of the state but in the meantime you are responsible for your own meds.

What started this, is I went to Menninger Clinic for an evaluation and right diagnosis in September for 3 weeks.

I am trying to help my parents save money. My mom has non-mantel cell lymphomia. She will be 70 next year. My dad is also bipolar and he will be 86 next year.

I will be 35 next year and have been diagnosed with bipolar since I was 22.

I quit my topamax today because my pdoc pointed out to me it was making me shake. So scratch trying to research the price on topamax.

thanks

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Postby jimithy » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:40 pm

bptabby,

Please forgive me for all the questions. We do not wish to pry into your affairs, we simply need enough information to do the best job at helping you afford your medications.

Before, when you were taking 5mg doses of Lexapro... you split 10mg tablets to drastically reduce your costs. That was an excellent way to save.

You now take 10mg doses but it appears that you did not buy 20mg tablets and split them. If you had done that then instead of paying $82.39, you could have gotten 15 tablets of 20mg Lexapro for less than $50 locally without even shopping around. If you had used some of the ideas presented earlier then you could have saved more.

Does this mean that you do not care about your current costs and are strictly concerned about how to save money during your first two months in North Carolina?

Also, you keep referring to "my prescription drug company". This still does not make sense to me. Are you in a Prescription Assistance Program (PAP) with only one drug manufacturer? Are you in a general Prescription Assistance Program that works with several drug manufacturers?

This is important because your assistance from them could be drastically changed or even stopped if you move out of state (depending upon which of the hundreds of Prescription Assistance Programs you MIGHT be enrolled in.) We need to know about this IF you want us to save your the most money and IF you want us to help you avoid possible pitfalls when you go to North Carolina.

There is a huge question about how you expect to save on medication costs during the first two months you are in the residential treatment center. Most such places do not permit you to use your own medications and they do not allow you to specify how & where they buy your medications. If you tell us their policies about medications then we can do a better job helping you.

Please be patient with me about methods to save when buying Tricor. The computer with that information is currently unusable. It should be fixed tomorrow.

I wish you all the best with the residential treatment center. They can be an excellent place to stabilize. You can find that though you may have problems; it really is possible to have a great life.
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