Submitting our Second Need

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Posted by admin | Posted in Our Need Experience | Posted on 02-02-2018

Well, I guess it was my turn to have a medical need beyond a standard sore throat. I developed some gastric problems that needed some testing and the bills got big enough to be submitted to Samaritan for sharing. The process was again very simple, actually a bit easier than our first need from the Samaritan side of things because I could scan my bills and upload them online as a PDF file instead of just taking a picture (PDFs are easier for me).

Here’s how it went.

I saw my chosen provider and got the testing done that I needed. Cash pay was no big deal, only had to pay for the lab work at the time of service (got a small discount), the other tests they would bill me later.

I received the first bills quickly, so I started this new need online, answered the questions and uploaded my bills. The first two bills from the provider came within a couple of days. That was wonderful. I had already requested they be fully itemized so that was no problem. I called about one of the bills to get a bigger discount than they first offered because the charges were so much higher than fair price for the area. I was able to get a bigger discount to match what the healthcarebluebook.com fair price said it should be. I certainly didn’t want to overpay, but I also wanted to be sure they were fairly compensated and paid quickly. I paid them the adjust amount right away in appreciation.  I did have a surprise bill come a few weeks after the first two, but that was also a simple process of adding it to the need online. Samaritan made the walk through for bill submission and add-ons pretty easy.

I spoke with the Samaritan staff a couple of times because I chose to have contact for the need over the phone and I had a question later on which they answered for me. I want to tell you how comforting its been to speak with them in the middle of this process. As the patient in pain, the prayers from the staff were so heartfelt and fabulous I simply closed my eyes and got teary-eyed because of how supportive and sincere their prayers were on my behalf. It was exactly what I needed during that moment of pain and emotional weakness. Do you know how great it is to talk to people in their position and feel like they are friends? Contrast that with talking to insurance companies where they come across as emotionless drones or even a hostile force. The positivity and support I felt from Samaritan staff is so helpful to someone carrying pain or fear. I believe it helps to foster additional healing instead of a negative insurance phone call adding more stress into the system. When the organization who is helping support the financial side of your need is actually on your side talking to you as a supportive friend, and praying for your pain to go away and for you to get answers about your situation; well there’s no better scenario I could imagine.

A few days later I saw that the need had been approved in my online Samaritan account. The bills I submitted online will be shared in full, probably during March since I submitted them in January. I did opt to pay a couple of the small medicine charges and one lab fee myself without submitting them to the ministry. I felt it was important to bear some of the burden myself to help keep costs down for the other members.

So far I am very pleased with how my medical need has been handled as a cash patient and a member of Samaritan. I guess that’s why I am sharing this with everyone.

Deep Discount on Tamiflu Cash Price

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Posted by admin | Posted in Samaritan Perks, Self Pay Resources | Posted on 25-01-2018

This year’s dangerous flu season got to our house. Our oldest child brought it home and was too sick for school last Friday. Fortunately he only missed one day of school since we got a big winter storm that weekend and kept the kids out of school for a couple extra days. It gave him a chance to recover at home without missing lots of homework. yay, I guess. 😐

Since we caught it early, it was recommended that we get him on Tamiflu. Have you priced that lately? Whoa! Around here it retails for anywhere from $125 to $180 per dose pack, and that’s the generic! Sometimes a doctor will recommend the rest of the family also take it so they can try to prevent getting it themselves. Ok, $125 x 4 of us = $600 for Tamiflu. NOPE.

Here’s what I did. After choking a little bit I turned to my trusty discount drug sources; Samaritan’s discount program available through our member online dashboard and goodrx. Samaritan’s program is really good about getting me prices for my super local non chain pharmacy, which goodrx doesn’t really do (they sort of guestimate and get close most of the time). It’s a tossup which one gives me the best pricing so I like to check them both when prescriptions are needed. Goodrx revealed the cheapest option this time, showing me cash discount prices ranging from $51.94 to over $130! The cash rate of $51.94 was at walmart. When we went to pick up the script the pharmacy tech was concerned about the high cost, because their retail rate is $134. When I mentioned we were using the goodrx app, he ran the codes in his computer and was so surprised to see the price drop down to $51.94, exactly what the app said it would be.

The customer in front of me also used goodrx, and we were able to tell some friends about it who were also facing a huge charge for it. Saving that much money on medicine is a big deal. Normally our meds aren’t very pricey so goodrx will save me a nice $10-$30… but this time it saved me over $80.

I’m sure some insurance patients paid far less than $52 for their Tamiflu (some paid more, too), but they’re also paying huge premiums every month, more than the $495 our Samaritan family share costs. On the whole we are still way ahead on medical expenses compared to having insurance. I’m so thankful for Samaritan and the goodrx app to get us through this flu season without breaking the bank.