Without Prescription Drug Insurance, This Retired Couple Turns to GoodRx

Katie Mui
Katie Mui is on the Research Team at GoodRx.
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David and Linda, both in their early seventies and retired, have had their fair share of health problems—and good medical care doesn’t come cheap. They are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, so their hospital expenses and what are known as medically necessary expenses (think doctor’s visits, lab work, and certain medical equipment) are covered. But they can’t afford Medicare Part D, and without any prescription drug coverage, they rely on GoodRx to save where they can.

David has lichen planus, an inflammatory disease that causes irritating skin lesions and rashes. Fortunately, David’s symptoms are relatively mild and can be successfully managed with lorazepam. Also in his medicine cabinet are metformin and glyburide for type 2 diabetes, metoprolol for high blood pressure, and dicyclomine for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Every month, he saves about $40-$100 on his medications with GoodRx coupons.

Linda, on the other hand, was diagnosed with colon cancer last year when she started feeling tired all the time, and her blood count turned out to be much lower than normal. She was quickly put on a treatment plan of 25 total sessions of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It was around this time that David discovered he had adult-onset diabetes, he says, perhaps as a result of stress and not looking after himself.

After her chemotherapy and radiation therapy, Linda also had a colostomy to improve bowel function. She’s doing well post op but still needs to visit the oncologist every 2-3 months. Each visit is billed to Medicare at $240-$300. (David also sees a doctor regularly to get his blood pressure checked; those are also billed at about $240 per visit.)

David and Linda are still on the hook for 20% of the total cost of Linda’s treatments (including cancer drugs Xeloda and Medrol), medical supplies, and the major operation—Medicare paid the other 80% as part of hospital inpatient care. She currently takes propranolol for a heart valve problem and continues paying 20% out of pocket for her ostomy supplies.

“We’ve been using GoodRx for a number of years now, and it has saved us a lot of money, but more so in the last year since Linda’s diagnosis,” David tells us. “We’ve been paying a lot of bills, and money now is very short. So GoodRx has helped us a lot since we take different medications.”

Almost a year later, David and Linda are still trying to pay off the hospital bills of over $10,000. This is a huge amount considering they both get less than $1,000 a month from Social Security. Because of their situation, some of the hospitals that provided Linda’s care have helped with reduced bills and payment plans. Every bit counts.

Despite the medical battles and debt, David is in good spirits. He mentions that he and Linda have been married 51 years, and they just celebrated their daughter’s wedding. When we first talked to David last month, he told us Linda had had a routine check up back in June where they found a small spot on her left lung during a CT scan. David was hopeful that the mass would be benign and that Linda wouldn’t have to go back for more chemotherapy and radiation therapy. And sure enough, when we checked in with him this week, he gave us an update: Linda’s second CT scan came back clean! There was no sign of a mass at all, and her doctor suspects the first scan was inaccurate.

David is a huge fan of GoodRx, and not only because it helps him save money. He knows we’ve got his back when it comes to anything drug pricing or pharmacy related. We’ll finish with this story he shared about the GoodRx Patient Advocacy team:

“Some time ago, I had to get one of my prescriptions at the pharmacy which was going to cost about $60. They told me they only had the medication from a different manufacturer and charged me over a hundred dollars, so I called GoodRx. The person I talked to called my pharmacy for me. She was able to sort out the situation, and the pharmacy returned the difference to me. Thanks again to GoodRx!”

 


 

GoodRx started with a simple idea: Help people find affordable medications. Help people understand their options. Help people get what they need for their health. Have a story about how GoodRx helped you? Email us at share@goodrx.com or tell us on Facebook or Twitter – don’t forget to tag #GoodRxHelps!

 

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