Friday, October 9, 2015

Just More Stuff

Terry takes a lot of pictures of these two.  Since I don't have a picture for today's Stuff, here's a pic of the mutts.

If you are a person that knows how to manage your health care, then you are very lucky.  But I have some things that happened recently to share with you, because managing healthcare is a learning experience because things are constantly changing.

When I needed testing done prior to my Doc appointment I went to the Anthem website to search for labs, radiology etc that were in my network.  Did you ever do that and notice the disclaimer that the info might not be current.  Believe it!  Even if you talk to someone at your insurance company that tells you companies that are in your network....DON'T BELIEVE THEM!!  Oh, you say they should know, right?  WRONG.  Actually call the place you choose to go and ASK THEM if they are in the network.  I was told by the Insurance Company that the place I wanted to go was in my Network, but when I called them I was told they are not, but their campus in a town 1/2 hour away was. If you don't want surprises on your billing, be sure to check.

When my lab work results came in, it determined that I have a hypothyroid condition.  The symptoms that I thought were caused by aging turned out to be caused by my thyroid.  Now that I am on meds, I am no longer overly tired and no longer need a daily nap.  Hopefully it will take care of other concerns too, like hair loss and overly dry skin.  In a sentence...Don't diagnose yourself.  If you feel a change in your health, check it out and don't assume you know the cause.

Here's another one for you.  My labs showed elevated Cholesterol.  I have ALWAYS had that condition.  My love of cheese and the fact that I invent ways to eat it?  Nope. Good Cholesterol level was normal, Carbohydrate level was good so high BAD Cholesterol indicated the condition is genetic and meds were indicated. oil supplement for this situation would not be effective. Doc prescribed generic Lipitor. Since I don't have prescription coverage, he mentioned that it was pretty inexpensive. When Walmart texted me the $90 price I thought "what is inexpensive to Doc is cost prohibitive to me!!" (Terry takes 10 prescriptions for his declining health so our budget is pretty tapped out on meds).  Well, I stewed on the cost of the script for a little while, then called to see if they had applied my GoodRX discount. The Tech said no, the card didn't work on this med. Well, I didn't believe that, but I didn't argue.  Remember $90.  So I went to the GoodRX website which is so very easy to use.  You put in the med name, choose the dose and pill count and vawlla....Their cost is $16.84.  You can print a coupon for the prescription, take it to the pharmacy and the price the website says you should pay is what you will be charged.  Write the amount down for your own reference because it won't be on the coupon.  Anyway, just to be sure I called GoodRX...they are ALWAYS so helpful and considerate. The rep on the phone confirmed that the price of $16.84 is correct and if Walmart needs to, they can call to confirm it.  So $90 minus $16,84 is a savings of $73.16.

If you have insurance that covers prescriptions, you won't need this info...but still it's good information to know.

I spend A LOT of time on the phone and on the computer managing Terry's health.  I can't leave it up to the Docs because truthfully one hand does not always know what the other hand is doing. It's good to have as much knowledge as you can absorb before talking to doctors.  Mostly we are dealing with the VA on Terry's health.  I have a great deal of respect for the Docs he has seen there.  He has received excellent care, but you still have to stay on top of it.

Changing the subject to pictures.  I want to make a thumbnail picture of an embroidered block I stitched.  I don't know how to size the pic so that it doesn't just turn into a blur.  Google let me down and I couldn't find the info on how to do it.  Maybe I should check U Tube.  If anyone can help me out on this I sure would appreciate it.

Have a wonderful day.


kathyinozarks said...

good post Carol--I agree that you really have to check to make sure you are covered. sometimes the doctors or clinics you use don't even know what they have-I have run into that problem several times-when we first moved here and was setting up doctors a receptionist at a local clinic here argued with me that my insurance would know if I was covered or not and not her-which is not true at all as clinics and doctors change all the time what insurance they will take-- and don't get me started on the price of meds it's craziness especailly now on medicare and that donut hole-one of hubby's meds went to over 400.00 not going to pay that-I am hoping our doctor next month might have a couple weeks samples so we can get by til January. they need to get rid of that donut hole for sure.

Penny said...

Health care is such an abyss. Its a wonder anyone is ever cared for properly. I feel very sorry for the elderly who have to fend for themselves. I have Microsoft Picture Manager (it came on my machine) and I love it. I can do everything I want to do. I've tried the more advanced photo programs but they were a bit too much for me.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

The health care systems are so radically different between the US and Canada, but I agree that you have to keep on top of everything yourself...particularly if you're dealing with more than one doctor. DH and I don't have any sort of medical plan so have to pay for pretty much everything....he does get some things cheaper because he's over 65 but everything for me costs us full price. We live in hope that there are no health issues for me until after I hit that magic 65 age. I guess I should look on the bright side and be grateful that we don't have to deal with insurance companies.

Robbie said...

I use IrfanView to edit my pics. ( It's a free download. I've even used it to send to IQA for quilt entries. Works great. Yep...we do have to check around for any and all medical it a diagnosis, Rx or tests. Need to be aware...good for you doing your research!

Timaree said...

Very interesting stuff. I just got a call from a bill collector the other day for something I thought had been taken care of 3 years ago. I paid some money upfront and my Tricare insurance was supposed to cover the rest. It was weird as she said they'd been sending letters to us which I told her we never received so she verified our address and yep, it was correct. When I told her Tricare was supposed to pay she looked up my record and said they had been contacted but no response was shown so she said she'd get in touch with them and hung up with me! I have no clue what is going on. I told my husband to NOT give up his VA as challenging as it is sometimes, to go Medicare/Tricare. It's just to confusing where the VA is straight up. My doctor is thinking I need the laser surgery on my other eye soon but I'll have to tell him I'm already with a bill collector on the first surgery so no, I won't do it. He won't like it but I don't like being in this situation.

As far as Lipitor goes, my husband was put on it after his bypass surgery but he had a 1 in 6000 reaction to it - bleeding. When he knelt down to work on a tire on a trailer he put his knee on the gravelly, sandy dirt. When he stood up the actual imprint of the dirt was on his knee due to bleeding capillaries! He went back to his old medicine and stayed away from the Lipitor after that.

Getting older and dealing with meds and insurances is crazy. I want to stay healthy but I don't want to get tangled up more with bills. I sure wish we had a one-payer system like the VA for everyone!

FlashinScissors said...

Hi Carol,

Interesting to read about your problems getting your meds sorted, it must be a nightmare for you. We must consider how lucky we are to have the National Health Service in England, although it is struggling a little.

Barbara xx

Sweetpea said...

A very informative medical post, Carol - thank you so much for detailing those important points.

As for picture resizing, I use an online website called 'PicMonkey' It is very easy & straightforward. Simply click on the Edit button on the top, import your image ... the first screen that comes up you will see "Resize" at the bottom left. You can play with it there BUT what I find is easier is to tweak your image however you want using all the other Basic Edits [Color, Crop, Sharpen etc] then click 'Save' at the top of the image. This takes you to a screen where you save it to your computer - you want to choose 'Sean' in the Quality box [highest resolution] then click Change next to the Dimensions box and put in either your thumbnail dimensions [if you have them] OR play around till you get something close to the size you want. You can create a high resolution but tiny image this way! Give me a shout if you get stuck - you know where to find me ;>))

jenclair said...

Another hypothyroid, here. Have been on meds for about 15 years, now, and the dosage has continued to increase. But not only did the meds help with tiredness, which was my major concern when I was diagnosed, they have helped my attitude and anxiety. So far, I've refused to take cholesterol meds because my husband had so much trouble finding one that didn't have side effects--like a short temper! :) His meds seem to be balanced now, so maybe I'll consider it next time the Dr. suggests taking meds.

Createology said...

Managing our own healthcare is essential. I hate dealing with insurance issues. It takes a lot of time and energy. Thankfully your thyroid will be monitored and regulated so you will feel better.