1/ I work in the industry and it's mind boggling to me how a senior citizen could navigate our complex heath system. Here's a conversation with my father-in-law tonight.
2/ "Sid - the pharmacist at Safeway says one of my medication has a $200 copay. But I don't know which one, she didn't say" -FIL
3/ I say ok, let's search the medications one at a time through GoodRX and see what comes up. 10 minutes later after singing into a complex UCSF portal to then find the list of prescribed medications, I then run through them one at a time and find the one that has a high copay.
4/ I have to deduce which one is the high copay based on my understanding of the fact that there was only one branded medication on his list. If there were two, then I would have had no way to identify the $200 copay one.
5/ Next, we search for a copay assistance program for the drug in question. For someone not familiar with our health system (or frankly anyone for that matter), how are you supposed to know about manufacturer copay programs?
6/ For the record, my father-in-law asked the pharmacist over the phone about GoodRx coupon pricing and the response was "You can bring in a card and I can run it." This highlights another problem of retail pharmacies not being incentivized to help patients find the lowest price
7/ I start Googling around for a manufacturer program. If you have any experience navigating a manufacturer's website, it such a cumbersome experience to the point where I wasn't even sure I was on the right page. Back to GoodRx and scroll down to the "MFG Coupon" section
8/ Now I'm linked to the right page to start the signup process. After 10 minutes of my FIL looking up his insurance details I enter in name, DOB, zip, bin, pcn, grp number and then enroll into a program only to realize GoodRx linked me to the wrong manufacturer page .
9/ Back to Google to find the right manufacturer website and navigating to the right page this time (or at least I think) Go through the same sign up process to fill our all the same fields one more time.
10/ At this point my FIL is thoroughly confused and just looking at me with a blank stare asking what's going on. At this point I'm shocked (but not surprised at all:) that the SAME manufacturer has a completely different web experience for a different drug.
11/ After finally going through the process I have to explain to my FIL with explicit instructions "Show this to your pharmacist" b/c even something this trivial is not explained anywhere else. ..like how is he supposed to know he needs tp print out and take to the pharmacy.
12/ At this stage we STILL don't know the new out of pocket costs sadly. All we know is that with the coupon eligibility his copay could be "as little as $5"

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