Saturday, September 6, 2014

Weekly Whine: Health insurance is expensive yo

Recently, I had a really bad sore throat. Instead of abusing one of my colleagues, I decided to take a trip to urgent care to rule out strep.

Obviously, I have health insurance. However:

It cost $20 co-pay for the visit.

It cost $30 for the Z pack they prescribed.

It cost $30 for the throat culture.

So with my health insurance, it was $80 to treat my sore throat, which turned out to just be viral after all. Good thing I make a doctor salary.


  1. So, will you stop taking the z-pak?

    I work with a woman who just calls her dr, gets the script and never does a culture and can't figure out why I treat what is clearly an fall-allergy-related very annoying tickle.


    (PS - you don't 'know' me, but I keep wanting to post my day care debacle. Let me reassure you - the baby is 20 and doing fine)

    1. I took the whole antibiotic course.

      Would love to hear your daycare story!

  2. Here's a theory: While your body is fighting off the allergens, you're compromised
    opening you up to a bacterial infection. Yes, it can start out viral but the little
    critters are just waiting for an opportunity leading to a secondary bacterial infection.
    To stop the cycle, I use Pollen Defense, Super Echinacea put out by Herb Pharm
    at the first sign of an allergy/cold. I also supplement with Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C.
    I know you folks are a lot smarter than I am (no sarcasm intended) but the proof is
    in the pudding. It works for me and hopefully it will work for you too.

  3. Too bad the doctor didn't do PVK for a rule out strep. It follows the guidelines from IDSA, plus it is CHEAP (free at some of our pharmacies around here!)

    Seriously, though, it STINKS how expensive stuff is. Just remember, we pay for those who don't/can't/won't pay--or use the ER for a medication refill (yup, that just happened at my hospital last night)

  4. I'm allergic to penicillin with a cross sensitivity to the cephalosporins. The other antibiotics are so rough on my gut that I'm forced to just tough it out.
    However, a little prevention goes a long way.

  5. My attempt at rap: What do you think Dr. Fizzy?

    She's a Fiz in a white coat
    With coated strep, in throat
    Congested, her nose flows
    It flows back in her throat
    She's not giving up though
    Though feeling so so so
    No, she won't give up, no.
    It's just how it is
    When your name is Fiz!

  6. Cash price for a zpak is 32.99 at my pharmacy, your insurance is ripping you off to make you pay that much!

    1. Didn't Target used to have Rxs for like $4? Did they get rid of that plan? Back in the good old days when we paid out of pocket for birth control, I remember a pack of pills cost $20. When insurance started "covering" them, my co-pay was $20, so it cost the same! Now that OCPs are "free," you can only get them free via mail order. If you want to go to the pharmacy they cost $45!

    2. Only some prescriptions were $4-ones that were inexpensive for the pharmacy to buy. Cost to the pharmacy for a zpak is a good deal more than $4 so no way that will be on the list. Ironically, a study done 8ish years ago in pharmacies showed the cost to fill an Rx WITHOUT the cost of the drug is $10 (salaries, computer system, charge to pharmacy to submit to insurance and to receive escripts-yes pharmacies get charged for those things)

    3. I'm pretty sure amoxicillin is on that list (having prescribed it to kids for strep before and having looked it up), which is what she should have gotten if they were worried about strep anyway.