depression hurts...your wallet!!!!!!!!!

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Joan M
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Date Joined Jan 2006
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   Posted 9/19/2006 5:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I saw my psychiatrist today and found out that my co-pays may leap up to $100 a visit from $10 a visit.  This is a huge increase and I am writing to the insurance company.  There is no parity for mental illness compared to other illnesses.  It is a serious illness though.  Am very sorry about the whole thing and will be writing the insurance company too. 
 
What can I say?  Got any words of encouragement for me? 

CounterClockwise
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Date Joined Jul 2006
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   Posted 9/19/2006 5:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Good grief Joan -- what a price hike!! I don't know what to say -- except that I'd write those letters to anywhere I could in protestation. Times like this I'm glad I'm in the UK: for all the problems with the NHS, at least it's free (well, paid for through taxes!).

Rosie x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

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*MovinOn*
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 9/19/2006 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
My insurance won't pay a dime. How sad is it when our insurance carriers won't help those who probably need help the most.

Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 9/19/2006 7:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry, I don't have a nice thing to say about insurance.
Found out earlier today that my insurance will not cover depression. I'm almost to the point to say insurance is just not worth it and is the biggest money racket today!!! Insurance is the new Mob boss, what a joke... confused
Do hope your letter writing will help, would like to cheer you up just don't know what to say... scool

els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 9/20/2006 5:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I am with you all on this the Insurance industry has gotten way out of control with co-payments, co-insurance, non-coverage...ect.  I am currently on Cobra with my insurance...when I resigned my job you can Cobra out your employers insurance for up to 18 months but pay for it out of your pocket at their group premium.  In August the group premiums went up 35%...and when your already paying over 650.00 out of pocket for insurance that is a whole lot of money.
I think they all are crooks! devil

Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


wmnak
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Date Joined Jul 2006
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   Posted 9/20/2006 8:02 AM (GMT -7)   

Even Medicare only pays 50% - and you have to find a pdoc who will accept the Medicare assignment. 

Husband's supplement kicks in and picks up the other 50% so we are indeed fortunate - but supplement premium is super high.  Was difficult to even find a supplement that would cover psych visits, but they are out there.  :-)


LondonGirl22
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   Posted 9/20/2006 9:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry you are having such trouble. I sympathise with you but I dont have any good advice as we have the NHS in the UK so we dont pay for anything like that so I dont understand about medical bills. I wish they had the NHS everywhere.

Take care
Victoria
 
 
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sadfacedb
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 9/20/2006 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   

I wish I had advice.  I pay $50 a week after insurance to see my psy and I go every week! Thats $200 a month, not including meds, that are still $35 after insurance. Thats just for the zoloft... I think that its all a bit ridiculous.  I also think that doctors prescribe drugs that don't have generic brands on purpose ... as if they get a kick back!  Every drug I have does not have a generic and the prices are ridiculously high.. Coincidence!? I THINK NOT ;)

Go get 'em tiger!

Britt


Joan M
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1975
   Posted 9/21/2006 8:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your good words.  I wish we had some universal health care in the US.  It is getting nuttier and nuttier.  I see where I typed the same thing twice.  I just get so wiped out from asthma/allergies, chronic foot pain and depression and all.  Well, anyway I will mail the letter out tomorrow.  It is almost done. Maybe things will get better.  At least here in New York, Spitzer is a sure thing and that will help (I hope!!!).  If the insurance company does not reply or replies negatively, I intend to contact his office in New York City.  Just keep on trucking, I guess. 

els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 9/22/2006 5:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Not that this is going to help you any Joan but I have heard some rumers here where I live that Wal-Mart is supposed to be going to a universal price on all their generaic drugs...I think it was like $4.00.  I dont get my meds from Wal-Mart but think it would help alot of people if they did do this as even generic drug prices can be very high...

Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
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Joan M
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1975
   Posted 9/23/2006 1:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I saw the listing of the Wal-Mart generics but unfortunately none of my meds are covered! I think it is a great move and I'm glad somebody did it. Target has followed suit, I believe.

I wrote my letter and mailed it out on Friday. I asked for a reply so here's hoping I get something positive in the mail. My doctor has been in contact with other doctors and they are all trying to get their patients to send notes, if possible.

tangerine bear
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Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 941
   Posted 9/24/2006 6:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Joan,

I am sorry this is happening to you, and I agree with everyone that insurance companies are really getting out of control with all of this! I have my insurance through my job, but when my depression started almost 2 years ago, I had to take leave of absence and I couldn't afford the deductible, so I was forced to look elsewhere for psychiatric care. I found a community clinic which charges just a small fee per visit. I think most communities have low cost mental health care available, it just takes some searching. The University has a program for psychiatrists in residency where they see patients and groups for free, but I had already found the other place when the paperwork came for that one, so I didn't try it. I know it is difficult to make a change, but this has really been a blessing for me, not only has my therapy been wonderful but the cost is low enough where I can go as often as I need to ($10/visit). Even if I could have afforded the deductible (which is a SEPARATE deductible from medical...$500 extra), the visits would be at the specialist rate of $40 per visit, which would have meant I couldn't afford to go very often. Good luck with your appeal. I just wanted to give you a couple of alternative ideas in case the insurance company won't help you. (((Hugs))),

Bear
It's a jungle out there.....
 
Theme song from "Monk" by Randy Newman
 
 


Joan M
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1975
   Posted 9/24/2006 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
hi, bear...I did try the local community mental illness services here but you have to be very low functioning. I am very happy they are getting the help they need but I do not qualify. I could check out another county but I might not qualify if I don't live in the county. Let's see if there is any reply to the letter. I hope within two weeks to hear something.

Daisysmom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 9/25/2006 7:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,

Other options... which I heard about from soon-to-be unemployed co-workers.

I had talked to a financial advisor in my town. He does taxes, I think he's a CPA, and he offers health insurance plans that sounded cheaper than COBRA. Maybe you can find somebody like that?

Also, if you are a university student, you can buy insurance that way, plus there is counseling on campus that is free.

You can check out your local United Way (through web site or a phone), see if any funded agencies might be of help. You would have to be low income probably.

Also, you might be able to negotiate a lower rate directly with your counselor.

Just some thoughts... haven't had to do any of this myself.

-- MK

Joan M
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1975
   Posted 9/25/2006 8:55 AM (GMT -7)   
United Way is a thought, a good thought. I thank you all for your ideas and support. I just feel overwhelmed by the whole thing, wiped out, tired. I have problems walking, arthritis and asthma and stuff...sometimes it is difficult to cope, but it sure feels good to have support out there.

Thank you all again.

Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 9/27/2006 3:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all -
 
I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in writing letters to address them to their state and US senators and representatives.  In Massachuetts, they have recently passed legistation that entitles all residents to health care.  It's still in its infancy, but I'm sure there will be plenty of lessons learned from the experience and hopefully other states will jump on the band wagon soon! 

Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 9/27/2006 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Here in Texas, a couple of years ago a bill was passed to cap medical lawsuits promises were made that if it passed healthcare costs would go down. It passed and healthcare cost are higher than ever what a way to rip people off!!!
This bill should be appealed for all the broken promises. yeah

els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 9/28/2006 6:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Sadsong has an excellent idea...our senators and representatives are the ones who take our voices for each state in front of congress.  IF we swamped them with letters about healthcare costs surely they would have to listen.
 
Here in Missouri our Governer has done away with Medicaid for the working disabled and by 2008 our state wont even have medicaid.  Leaving thousands of people without insurance and medical care.  It is very sad and terrible when people dont go to their doctor appointments or to the emergency room when they need to just because they cant afford to pay for it or they dont have insurance. 
 
 

Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


Joan M
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1975
   Posted 9/28/2006 2:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Sure is a horrible scene. In Albany New York, I qualify as a senior and will get to talk to legal aid when the lawyer comes next month to my local senior center. I have been active with NOW (National Organization of Women) and AARP (Association of American Retired People) so I know some political people here. The last thing these insurance companies want is some political scrutiny. I will have to file a NY State Insurance Department formal complaint too.

Ugh, it's like a job being a patient but at least I have some options.

Flaminguts
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Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 962
   Posted 9/28/2006 11:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey ya'll

I was on generic prozac before and it was not working for me. I have seen the ads for cymbalta and was wondering if it works well and if there is a generic version of it. Since this topic is about how expensive stuff is.... I was hoping to find a drug that actually works and isn't too expensive.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid"
 Gen. Eisenhower


els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 9/29/2006 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Ya D-Rule, According to FDA guidelines and the drug company patents they have 7 years after they introduce a new medication on the market before any generic version can be made or sold.  Since Cymbalta has recently came out in the last year I would doubt that there is a generic of it as yet.  But there may be hope for the medication industry if voters are able to pass the bill allowing drugs from Canada.


Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


Flaminguts
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Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 962
   Posted 9/29/2006 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the info. I didn't know that!
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid"
 Gen. Eisenhower


Rianna
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 9/30/2006 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I can relate.  I still don't have health insurance through work and they promised this to us two months ago.  I am looking for another job where I can get health coverage.  I am also paying out of pocket and have to see my Psychiatrist every two-three months or she will not refill my medication.  It costs about $115.00 per 1/2 hour visit and all she does is ask a few questions about how I am feeling.  There is no therapy involved.  I am fortunate to be on two Generic prescriptions (Remeron and Klonopin) - however, both of them together are expensive every month.
 
Have you tried looking at Sams or Costco?  I have heard that their prescriptions are a bit cheaper.  Also, look in to an individual policy from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.  I think about a year ago...I looked in to it and it was about $162.00 a month which was a lot cheaper then Cobra.  I said that I had a pre-exisiting condition (depression and anxiety) and they said they covered that.  Also, there is also a website called Needy meds dot com.  Another is Partnership for Prescription Assistance. 

Post Edited (Rianna) : 9/30/2006 4:57:15 PM (GMT-6)


mamasad
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/30/2006 9:30 PM (GMT -7)   
i have known i need help for awhile, but i have no insurance. which means i am expandable.

wmnak
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 9/30/2006 11:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Joan,
Since you are already a member of AARP, by all means check out the prices of prescriptions via the AARP Pharmacy (Express scripts).  I have found their services to be the most reliable and least expensive within the USA.  Depending on where you live, perhaps a trip across either the Mexican or Canadian border for meds would result in a major net savings.  Far as I know, you can still bring home a 3 month supply for personal use.
Have you been back to see your pdoc since they floated the idea of a large fee increase?  I'm curious to know if they can/will actually put patients in that kind of financial bind; and if so, how on earth they can justify it.
Pump all the political juice you can muster into this .. a success for you will be a step up for all of us!  Good Luck!  :-)
 
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