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Author Topic: Two free bottles of meds, and insurance  (Read 1115 times)

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Offline acoupleinlove

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Two free bottles of meds, and insurance
« on: January 10, 2016, 10:04:19 AM »
Hi people: long time viewer, first time poster here, from Chicago...

When I started HIV medication at the same time as my partner, he switched medications after five days due to a rash. I used the rest of his once-daily pills and got a letter from our insurance company, reminding me to take my medications. The letter was generated because they had not paid for one month of medications. I assumed it was so they could then try and refuse to pay for any treatments if I wasn't adhering to a medication schedule. 

Now, two years later, a friend of ours (mostly mine) is switching medications and has two bottles he can give to me. I contacted our doctor to ask if it was OK to use them and saving our insurance company about $5000. My doctor said it was OK to do that.

My partner is livid that I would do such a thing, thinking that it's going to make it look like I have not been taking my daily medication for two months. My argument is it's going to be in my medical records, AND that my lab work will still show my CD4 count and that I am undetectable.

Do any of you have input on this matter? Have you been in the same position or know of someone who has? I'm asking about the insurance issue and what will be an apparent lapse in medication adherence; not the partner part. I can handle him.  :)

He also wants to know why I would care if our insurance pays for two months or not. His attitude is we pay for insurance so they SHOULD take care of us.

Personally, it's just something I would like to do for my soul. I found out I was HIV+ from ending up in the hospital with KS and pneumonia; denial is powerful. It cost our insurance company $50,000 and at the time, I was angry that everyone was trying so hard to keep me alive. I felt I didn't deserve it. Now I have a different love for living and I'm doing the best I can, even though my partner won't be quiet. ;) 

Offline AusShep

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Re: Two free bottles of meds, and insurance
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2016, 11:09:31 AM »
I wouldn't worry about the insurance company.  The letter was just auto generated based on the last time you filled, they're not going to block further fills.

I would recommend you keep at least one spare month of excess medication on hand in case there is a delay in a fill or an insurance issue that crops up in the future. 

I had to use a month of excess last year when my insurance got messed up for five days and couldn't be switched back prior to the first of the next month without extraordinary measures, and it still would have left me with a couple of weeks to cover.   I probably have a 3-4 month surplus of Tivicay, maybe just over 1 of Truvada since my husband was using that for PrEP for a while.

Offline Mightysure

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Re: Two free bottles of meds, and insurance
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2016, 01:28:35 PM »
Hello.  You may get some sanctimonious people in here chastising you for taking medication not prescribed to you, but if you got the OK from the doctor or if it's medication that s/he prescribed, don't worry about that.
However, I would be careful about doing anything to irk insurance companies, if this is an American company. They have so many things in the small print of your insurance contract and then they have lawmakers and regulators in their pocket that they are permitted to do so many dirty things to people just to save money.  If it wont cost you much or anything, I would still get your prescriptions filled. Not only to stave off any potential issues with the company, but just to have a reserve of medication, if not for yourself, but to have just in case someone you know is in a bind and you have it for them.

Offline acoupleinlove

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Re: Two free bottles of meds, and insurance
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2016, 07:21:54 AM »
Thank you both. That's good advice; I'll use it have an extra supply. My partner and myself really only run about one to two weeks ahead with our prescriptions, which can be a little anxiety provoking when we travel.


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