Monday, January 20, 2014

Save Money on Your Prescriptions via Mail Service

You may be able to save a substantial amount of money if you buy your prescription drugs via mail pharmacy option of your insurance. However, be aware that not all mail order organizations are trustworthy especially if they operate outside the US.

I have a Federal Employee Program( FEP) insurance coverage under the Blue Cross Blue Shield, California Anthem insurance PPO program. Under this plan is the Mail Service Pharmacy program that I was aware of but have not been using because of the convenience of ordering drugs right in my door step via our local pharmacies such as, CVS, Walgreen, Costco, Walmart and other local pharmacies.

Under the mail order option of buying your prescription, there is a waiting time from 10 to 14 working days, so if you do not plan ahead, this is not the right option for you, unless you want to save.

I have been satisfied with my copay of the several drugs that my wife and I use until the other day, when one drug that my wife is using for her PD cost me $119.00 copay for 30 tablets. I was so shock, since most of the copay I pay for my other drugs varied from $2 to $ 25 for a 30 day supply.

I started inquiring from friends and neighbors, if they know of pharmacies that offer cheaper prices compared to my local pharmacy-CVS. A relative suggested Costco or WalMart. In the meantime, I asked my wife's Neurologist to prescribe her a 90 days supply instead of 30 days because normally you can save at least 10%.

I called CostCo and Walmart for their prices for a 90 days supply of the drug that my wife uses for her PD. Both Costco and Walmart informed me that the price is 3,589.00 (Three Thousand Five Hundred Eighty nine dollars). I almost fainted, because even if my insurance pays for 60%, my copay would still be around $1,435. It means that for a 30 day supply my copay will still be $478. This is about 4 times more expensive than the $119 that I pay at CVS. So who says CostCo and Walmart Pharmacies are cheap?

For some luck, I did remember that about a decade ago, I have used the mail order pharmacy option of my FEP insurance and I remember I did save a lot buying by mail. I look at the back of my insurance card and lo and behold there is an 800 number that is listed for mail order pharmacy. To make the story short, I called the 800 number and after 5 minutes of talking to a computer, I was connected to live representative. I asked her what my copay for a 90 days supply for the above PD drug and she said $80.She even added that if I ordered this drug last year, my copay would have been only $70.

The representative informed me that there are two ways to get started ordering my prescription by mail. One way is to mail the hard copy of my wife's prescription to them and putting my ID number in the prescription. Along with the order is an invoice that I can pay as soon as I received my order.

The other way is to talk to my insurance representative to send me a form for ordering via mail or I could go directly to Mail order website and print out the form. I did both ways and besides ordering my wife her PD drugs, I ordered my other prescriptions that cost me more than $10 copay. Incidentally this mail order company is CVS Caremark. I do believe this is a trust worthy organization to buy prescription by mail. I will never buy my drug by mail from companies operating outside the US. .

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Filipino Traditions and Superstitions on New Year

Twelve kinds of round fruits should be in your table by midnight to bring good luck and prosperity to the Household

When I was growing up in the Philippines, my parents will tell us kids that on New Years Eve and Day, we should do the following for good luck. Doing these things will help insure that the coming year will be a happy and prosperous one. Many of these traditions and superstition are of Chinese influence, I believe.

1. Turn on all lights so that the coming year will be bright.

2. Make as much noise as you can to scare away evil spirits.

3. Debts must be paid off. Fill you wallet with fresh peso bills.

4. Open all doors, windows, cabinets and drawers to let good fortune in.

5. Scatter coins around the house, on tabletops.... inside drawers...

6. Clean everything including your body by taking a long bath, the closets and the whole house.

7. Wear polka-dots, preferably black and white. Anything round signifies prosperity.

8. Jump twelve times at midnight to increase your height. (Observed by Filipino children.)

There are five things related to food that we must do for good luck as follows:

1. Prepare 12 round fruits, one for each month of the coming new year ( see photo above).

2. Have a very round grape in your mouth at the stroke of midnight.

3. Eat a native delicacy made from sticky rice to make good fortune stick in the new year.

4. Eat long noodles (pancit) for long life ( definitely of Chinese origin). We should eat pancit also during our birthday.

5. Don't eat any chicken or fish. They are associated with the scarcity of food.

Then on New Years Day we should not clean anything, otherwise we might sweep away the good fortune. In addition we should not spend money at all. Our being thrifty that day will help us manage our money very well for the whole year. Do you have any New Years Eve tradition in your family? Please share!

Happy 2014 to All of You, my dear readers and FaceBook Friends!


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