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Question DetailsAsked on 11/30/2017

what makes LCD an "expert" answerer. Is "he" working for or against any product? how do you vett him?

I found his assesments on prescription discount cards not in line with my experience and his references to ESTABLISHED alternatives troubling. the entrenched established system is why we are looking for good alternatives.

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Nothing make a responder an "Expert" - that is just a term Angies List uses for the contributors who answer questions on Angies List. On the prescription discount cards, the only "expert" status I have is having used one for about 20 years (provided as part of a professional society membership) and then quite a few hours asking questions at doctor's office and at every pharmacy in our town (about 5 including 2 major box store chains, 1 grocery store, one independe3nt pharamcist) who all gave me the same answers.


Yes the system stinks - depending on whether you pay cash or pay cash with a discount card or are covered under an insurance program, cost on the common drugs I checked on ran as much as a 10:1 difference in out of pocket cost - and cash prices varied by a factor of over two between all the places.


The main problem with discount cards, other than that a lot of them, especially the unjsolicited mailed-out ones, are basically just scams to get your personal information and sell it, is that pharmacies have contracts with the insurance companies which state that they HAVE to charge the contract rate in the computer and CANNOT sell you at cash price if they show you are covered by an insurance plan.


In our case, after being forced out of our major medical insurance policy (which allowed discount card use because it did not cover prescriptions)by Obamacare, with our new Obamacare policy (at about 4 times the annual cost) the out-of-pocket prescription co-payment by us came out to about the same as the cash prices we had been paying with the discount card - but the insurance company then also pays out 3-4 times that much, which of course drives up everyone's costs.


If Congress had any guts or smarts, they would pass a law outlawing billing anyone more than the cash price for prescriptions - but the Senator I talked to said that would be a dead-on-introduction bill given the lobbyist pressures to keep premium and drug costs up. Ditto to the fraud of the government requiring hospitals to treat all patients regardless of ability to pay, but the government does not cover that cost - extortion for certain - which dramatically drives up the cost to all paying customers many-fold. hence the $10 aspirin or $50 box of kleenex in hospitals.


As I stated, sometimes people can use a discount card and pay cash at one pharmacy, then use their insurance coverage at another for prescriptions cheaper for them that way - but I recently asked and found out for out major insurance company, their member numbers/names are in ALL the major chain and pharmacy company systems, so you cannot do that because it shows you are insured even though you have never given them that information !


Good Luck - but like you infer, beating the system (or evenn getting a fair shake from it) is pretty much a lost cause.

Answered 11 months ago by LCD

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Oh - BTW, in response to the other part of your question - I do not have any vested interest in either side of the issue other than our family having prescriptions from time to time and having medical insurance, and normal incidental investment or retirement account stock holdings in box or drug stores or drug companies - but I do not and never have worked for a drug company or pharmacy company or such.

Answered 11 months ago by LCD




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