[Image description: Boxes and bottles of the medication Latuda in both 40mg and 80mg.]
I recently changed insurance in an effort to get a more affordable plan. This worked really well until I tried to refill three of my prescriptions and was informed that my new insurance would cover nothing until I hit my $6k deductible. One of these medications, Latuda, was $760 alone. I called my insurance company in order to figure out what the fuck was going on here and how the hell they expected me to be able to shell out over $1,000 in medication every month in addition to the money that I was already paying for the insurance plan itself.
The woman I was on the phone with didn’t seem to give a fuck about anything that was going on in my situation. I tried to explain to her that the $760 medication that I was supposed to pay for myself every month was an anti-psychotic and I have bipolar disorder. You’d think that this might elicit some kind of helpful reaction in a decent human being. But no. She snapped at me that there was nothing to be done except call my psychiatrist and have her authorize my prescription, which might make it cheaper. She had no further information, including what price it would be after this was done.
I called my psychiatrist’s office and told the staff member what was going on. She had no idea what I was talking about. There was no authorizing of prescriptions after they’ve been issued. That didn’t even make sense. She then told me about a discount program that the medication company ran in order to make the medication cheaper. But I was already on that and it had only taken off about $30 from the total for the medication. In the end, I had to terminate my new insurance and reactivate my old insurance in order to refill my scripts.
There is no way I can accurately describe the panic I felt when someone told me that my medication was out of reach. My medication, particularly that one, is what keeps me sane. Telling me that I can’t have it is nothing short of cruel. It would seem pretty evident to not tell a crazy person that they can’t have their pills, but it seems like it needs to be said.
But this is the problem with the health care system in this country. No one should go without medication. No one should have to put up with this bullshit in order to get medication. Getting adequate medical care is imperative to living a full and productive life. If I want to be sane and able to function in this world, medication is not an option.
There are so many people that need medication that give up trying to get it because of all of the bullshit that insurance companies, psychiatrists offices and pharmacies throw at you. And if you want to know why mental health is such a problem in society, it’s because of this! Because it’s fucking hard to get, afford, and understand insurance. Between doctors, medications, and pharmacies, there is no end to the frustration and anger that you feel when all you’re trying to do is be responsible, take your medication, and live a healthy life. If someone wants to help the mentally ill, then make it so there are fewer obstacles in our path to getting the help we need and living our lives without pain.