Saturday, August 1, 2009

And in a shocking turn of events, health insurance companies SUCK ASS.

I don't even have the energy to recount the whole thing again, so I'm simply pasting in what I emailed to them. Fucking bastards I hate them all. And tonight, that goes for Walgreens as well.

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To Heath Net:

Tonight I attempted to pick up a prescription for Yasmin - for which I am forced to get Ocella, since it's cheaper and as we know, if there's a cheaper alternative that's all the health insurance company will pay for. Well, since there's apparently some kind of promotion going on, Ocella is not currently covered. Yasmin is. The Ocella is what they filled my prescription with, and of course it came up not covered at about $67. I'm sure as hell not going to pay that. Well, despite the fact that Yasmin is what is WRITTEN ON MY PRESCRIPTION, the pharmacist refused to give it to me even though she could see that it WAS being covered by the insurance, simply because the prescription slip did not also say "dispense as written". So, the doctor has to both write down the name of the drug and then again say "yes, that's what I'm really prescribing" for a patient to get the correct drug? Can anyone explain that to me? And let me mention that my drug store is Walgreens - a huge nationwide chain. If they don't know about this little game you're playing, who does? Essentially, I am being punished for the financial gain of Health Net. The insurance company just does whatever it needs to do to save as much money as possible regardless of the effect on peoples' health. I never wanted to be on Ocella to start with - it is NOT the same as Yasmin and it took months for my body to adjust - but now that I'm used to it I sure as hell don't want to switch back, only to have to switch again in another few months! I HAVE talked to my doctor about it, and she agrees with me! But doctors are powerless to fight against the insurance companies - clearly, when what she prescribed to me isn't what is given to me at the drug store because it's not what's best for YOU. Nothing about this "promotion" indicates that anything but Health Net's gain is at interest. And my experience tonight proves that nothing has been done to ensure that this little trick won't cause massive inconvenience to your customers. In case you haven't gathered it yet, IT'S CAUSING MASSIVE INCONVENIENCE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS. As if switching our drugs on us and forcing us to take drugs that we were not prescribed isn't inconvenience enough.

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And to Walgreens:

Tonight I attempted to pick up a refill of a prescription which I have been taking for about three years. The prescription is for the birth control pill Yasmin, but of course since the generic Ocella came out my insurance company has been forcing me to get that drug.

At the moment, the company that makes these drugs is apparently having some sort of "promotion", by which the brand name drug, Yasmin, is being offered at my lowest copayment. For whatever reason, during this time my insurance company is NOT covering Ocella.

Tonight when I went to pick up my prescription, I noticed with some confusion that it was not being covered by my insurance. I asked the pharmacist who was helping me, and she simply pointed to the slip and said, "It says right here, drug not covered." Well I knew that was wrong, since I've been getting it for years and it's always been covered, and my benefits haven't changed. Then I remembered that I'd gotten a letter about the "promotion".

I explained the situation to her, and asked her to see if Yasmin was indeed being covered by my insurance. She did, and it was. She also showed me the image of my prescription, which clearly stated the word "Yasmin". However, she refused to fill the prescription with Yasmin. She told me that it was "against the law" for her to fill my prescription with Yasmin, despite the fact that my doctor wrote Yasmin on the prescription and that my insurance was covering brand name Yasmin, because my doctor had not ALSO written "DAW" (dispense as written) in the box at the bottom of the prescription. I tried for several minutes to explain to her the absurdity of her statements, but was only told repeatedly that it would be "against the law" for her to give me the drug that my doctor had clearly prescribed! She told me that I would have to go back to the doctor to get a new prescription... for what I already had a prescription for.

I worked in customer service and retail for a long, long time. There are about a hundred ways in which this pharmacist could have handled this situation better. She was rude, unhelpful, and basically acted like I had done something wrong or was asking something unreasonable by requesting that she give me the drug that was a) prescribed by my doctor and b) covered by my insurance. But beyond that, I feel that the pharmacy staff should have noticed the problem before I even got there, when the prescription that had always been covered came up as not covered. Honestly, after three years of getting the same drug at the same location every month (among many others), is that too much to ask?

Needless to say, I am very displeased with the "service" I received tonight. I was not able to get my prescription, because I am certainly NOT going to pay full price (almost $70) for a generic when my insurance company is covering the name brand for $15, and so am forced to make a second trip there tomorrow to speak with the manager.

Perhaps people cannot be taught common sense, but they can be taught proper customer service, and this pharmacist had been instructed in nothing of the sort.

1 comment:

Woman of a Certain Age said...


The finance magazine that I copy edit had something in its latest issue about how their investing managers were lessening their companies' investments in health care companies because of all the scrutiny that is taking place, and that will certainly take place in a major way if the health care reform bill passes. And I am not a vitriolic person, but I cackled with glee at that.