Sherry Says She has “Good” Insurance – Except It’s a High-Deductible Health Plan

Katie Mui
Katie Mui is on the Research Team at GoodRx.
Posted on

“We have pretty good insurance, but the prescription portion isn’t that good until we meet our deductible.” Sherry and her husband, Scott, are just two of the 43.7% of Americans who have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), finding themselves stuck with high prescription drug costs until they hit their deductible. Because they both have multiple health conditions, those costs rack up pretty quickly. As Sherry puts it, “I really don’t know what I would do without GoodRx. I guess we just wouldn’t have our medication.”

 

 

Sherry and Scott, both in their mid-50s, have type 2 diabetes and rely on metformin to manage their blood sugar levels. “If we don’t have our medications, our blood sugar goes up,” Sherry says. “I get very tired, and though some of the damage to my body won’t show up right away, there may be damage that can cause many problems as I get older.”

Sherry’s doctor would also like her to take Victoza, which is brand-name only and expensive—its retail price is $872.85 for a typical monthly supply. Victoza does several things to help: stimulates the body to make and release more insulin, prevents the body from releasing more sugar, and slows down digestion. Since there’s no way Sherry can afford it, she takes a combination of two other type 2 diabetes drugs, Qtern and glimepiride, to try and get the same results.

 

 

On top of that, Sherry has high blood pressure and is waiting for knee replacement surgery. Her husband has his own share of ailments: attention deficit disorder (ADD) and depression. As an engineer, he needs medication to help him focus at work. Sherry says, “Without his medication, he could lose his job and home life could suffer, too. The medications we take not only keep us from getting sick or dying, but allow us to live a normal life.”

Sherry and Scott are no strangers to high medication costs. For a long time, Scott was working contract jobs that did not provide any benefits. It was only two years ago when Scott found his current job, which not only came with health insurance, but also allowed them to move to Indiana, closer to Sherry’s family. Now, with their “good” insurance plan, Sherry and Scott would have to pay $295 every month for all of their medications. But with GoodRx, they only pay $38—that’s $9,540 a year in savings! That’s a lot of money.

Sherry had first seen online ads for GoodRx a few years ago and thought it was a gimmick. But then things changed. “We had fallen on some hard times and absolutely did not have the money for our medications,” she says. “When I went to pick our medications up, I had no choice but to leave them at the counter. I left the pharmacy in tears. I called our doctor who asked if we had tried GoodRx. She said the medications would be cheaper with the discounts. Well, I had to try something and GoodRx actually worked!”

 

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