Author Topic: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!  (Read 1138976 times)

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PastryGoddess

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5940 on: June 04, 2014, 12:54:47 PM »
My HMO has changed their contracting mail-order pharmacy at least 3 times since we've been with them.  All 3 of the previous MOPhs I had trouble with, and called Client Services to complain.  More than once it was problems with gabapentin, a medication that MUST be titered on and off very carefully; starting with a full dose at once, or stopping it cold-turkey causes some rather unpleasant symptoms, including possibly seizures.   The last time I really blistered some ears, and asked my doctor to go to bat for me as well.  When you have to be down to your last 7-10 days of pills before you are allowed to reorder, and the MOPh sits on the script for 10 days before they even put it in the system, much less get it out the door, you can see that there is a problem.  Yes, I could take it to Kaiser's brick-and-mortar pharmacy at the clinic, if I wanted to pay twice as much.  I complained about that, too, that in order to preserve my health I had to pay a punitive price for my necessary meds. 

I really doubt that it was my complaint alone that caused a change, but we now can reorder when we're on our last 3 weeks.  And that particular MOPh is long-gone.

So today I was able to get through, and get an answer. Which I'm still scratching my head over. Apparently, as close as I can figure, based on what the rep told me, if you don't order a 90 day supply from the MOPh, they can pretty much charge what they want aka their "contracted" rate. Contracted with who? they also administer the retail portion of it. So as I said, if I walked into CVS, and refilled each one, its $25 each. Fine.

So one would THINK that if you do the same online, it would be the same $25 I'd pay in a pharmacy. Nope. its their "contracted" rate. Which makes no sense to me whatsoever. Thankfully I don't use my inhalers each and every day, so I think I'm simply going to just fill them locally, as needed, and be done with MOPh. While I was polite to the rep, I did tell her I thought it was a stupid policy. And one that made no sense.

I would complain to whomever is in charge of the contracts with vendors.  Stuff like this are reasons to terminate contracts

siamesecat2965

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5941 on: June 04, 2014, 01:14:26 PM »
My HMO has changed their contracting mail-order pharmacy at least 3 times since we've been with them.  All 3 of the previous MOPhs I had trouble with, and called Client Services to complain.  More than once it was problems with gabapentin, a medication that MUST be titered on and off very carefully; starting with a full dose at once, or stopping it cold-turkey causes some rather unpleasant symptoms, including possibly seizures.   The last time I really blistered some ears, and asked my doctor to go to bat for me as well.  When you have to be down to your last 7-10 days of pills before you are allowed to reorder, and the MOPh sits on the script for 10 days before they even put it in the system, much less get it out the door, you can see that there is a problem.  Yes, I could take it to Kaiser's brick-and-mortar pharmacy at the clinic, if I wanted to pay twice as much.  I complained about that, too, that in order to preserve my health I had to pay a punitive price for my necessary meds. 

I really doubt that it was my complaint alone that caused a change, but we now can reorder when we're on our last 3 weeks.  And that particular MOPh is long-gone.

So today I was able to get through, and get an answer. Which I'm still scratching my head over. Apparently, as close as I can figure, based on what the rep told me, if you don't order a 90 day supply from the MOPh, they can pretty much charge what they want aka their "contracted" rate. Contracted with who? they also administer the retail portion of it. So as I said, if I walked into CVS, and refilled each one, its $25 each. Fine.

So one would THINK that if you do the same online, it would be the same $25 I'd pay in a pharmacy. Nope. its their "contracted" rate. Which makes no sense to me whatsoever. Thankfully I don't use my inhalers each and every day, so I think I'm simply going to just fill them locally, as needed, and be done with MOPh. While I was polite to the rep, I did tell her I thought it was a stupid policy. And one that made no sense.

I would complain to whomever is in charge of the contracts with vendors.  Stuff like this are reasons to terminate contracts

I would if I thought anything would come of it, but I know its not going to happen.

Elfmama

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5942 on: June 04, 2014, 01:42:34 PM »
It can't hurt to complain, though, right?

One of the previous MOPhs kept sending me gabapentin pills that were HORRIBLE.  Dusty, chalky, bitter-taste-on-the-tongue, just  :P .  And at least a dozen pills in each bottle were broken/crushed/powdered.  I started keeping the bits  and powder for several months, then when I got a goodly supply, I hauled out my kitchen scale and weighed them in grams.  Once I had a weight for them, I counted out whole pills until they equaled that weight.  58 pills, almost 10 days worth of medication, that I paid for and couldn't use.   >:(   Yeah, you better believe that Client Services heard about that, too.  And shortly after that, our mail-order meds started showing up from a new MOPh.
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LadyJaneinMD

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5943 on: June 04, 2014, 02:05:05 PM »
So one would THINK that if you do the same online, it would be the same $25 I'd pay in a pharmacy. Nope. its their "contracted" rate. Which makes no sense to me whatsoever. Thankfully I don't use my inhalers each and every day, so I think I'm simply going to just fill them locally, as needed, and be done with MOPh. While I was polite to the rep, I did tell her I thought it was a stupid policy. And one that made no sense.

Exactly!  That's how I found out that one of my medications is $690 A MONTH, without insurance.  One month's worth would have cost me $230 at the local pharmacy, and rather than pay that, I went without until the mail order pharmacy could fill it.  It took the better part of a month, and my blood sugar was totally screwed up for that whole time.   I hate the pharmacy now.   All of them. 

Lauren7891

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5944 on: June 04, 2014, 02:12:49 PM »
I would like to point out that it's usually your insurance that sets these rules, not the pharmacy (online or in-person).  They can only fill the prescription as your doctor writes it and charge what your insurance says to.

siamesecat2965

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5945 on: June 04, 2014, 03:20:31 PM »
I would like to point out that it's usually your insurance that sets these rules, not the pharmacy (online or in-person).  They can only fill the prescription as your doctor writes it and charge what your insurance says to.

Oh I get that. But what I don't get is why my prescriptions copays are x, y, and z, and the company that administers it is the very same one who I get my online stuff from, yet the cost is different. when I log into my account, I see BOTH my prescriptions filled via a retail pharmacy and those filled by the online co. My card I show at the pharmacy has the online pharmacy info on it.

That's what I'm not understanding. How come they get to charge more for one, filling through them, than the brick and mortar store?

Hillia

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5946 on: June 04, 2014, 03:21:58 PM »
The online pharmacy has a different contract with the health insurance company than the brick and mortar does. 

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artk2002

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5947 on: June 04, 2014, 04:16:54 PM »
The online pharmacy has a different contract with the health insurance company than the brick and mortar does.

Actually, it's more likely that they're trying to encourage people to use the online pharmacy rather than bricks-and-mortar places. The overhead is much less in the mail order operation. I've seen this with just about every MOP I've used -- you have either a higher cost or a limited supply (30 days vs 90 days) in person.

It is a little odder in OP's case since it's Kaiser and they do all the fulfillment themselves. Interestingly, my sons are on Kaiser and they don't charge differently between the two methods. This may be a feature of the particular Kaiser plan OP has.
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Dindrane

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5948 on: June 04, 2014, 04:27:34 PM »
I think frustrations with pharmacies in general are often more due to insurance than the pharmacy themselves, but there seems to be a particularly frustrating intersection between insurance companies and mail order pharmacies.

I think it's because a lot of the point of mail order pharmacies is to keep a consistent supply and save a bit of money by buying in bulk. So when the supply isn't consistent (because of insurance company policies or pharmacy ones), or there aren't any significant cost savings (for whatever reason), it's more intensely frustrating than it would be at a brick and mortar store. Because at least at brick and mortar store, you can get a prescription filled the same day (sometimes even within the hour), but mail order pharmacies can't do that.

It makes me very appreciative of the fact that my insurance company will now allow me to get a 90-day supply of medication at my local retail pharmacy (rather than just the 30-day supply I could get before). And even more appreciative that the only medication I or my husband take regularly is free because it counts as preventive care.


gramma dishes

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5949 on: June 04, 2014, 08:08:12 PM »
Our insurance company always charges less when you get it from their mail order division.  You have to get a 90 day supply, but it's cheaper than picking it up at the pharmacy.

Unfortunately, the only drug I use is an inhaler and that can't be sent through the mail because it's sensitive to temperatures.  (A mailbox can easily get to over 100 degrees F. in the summer and significantly below freezing in the winter here.)

NyaChan

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5950 on: June 14, 2014, 01:13:34 PM »
I've got two unfortunately

1)  My parents want to remodel their bathroom.  They'd looked into it 3 years ago, but weren't ready to spend the amount they'd have needed to to get what they wanted.  Now that they are ready, they've budgeted $20k and got a quote from a new contractor in the area.  My mom wasn't thrilled with the design and they redesigned it, but she still remembered the company they'd originally spoken to and gotten an estimate from.  So she called them asking for an appointment and mentioned that she'd had them over about 3 years ago and she'd remembered them now that they were ready to do the project.  She was told that someone would be in touch - cue phone call from the guy who'd viewed their house last time. 

He was super confrontational and asks well "what changed? why should I think that you're actually going to go through with it this time?"  and starts berating my mother and ranting about how people think it is okay to just call them in on a whim with no serious intent.  After my mom listened to a bit of it, she summoned up an inner steel spine I didn't think she had and coolly informed him that she had no intention of convincing him that she was serious and that she no longer wanted him to give her an estimate.  Cue back-tracking on his end, but she simply restated, "No, I don't want an estimate from you anymore, there are any number of other contractors in the area who I'd much prefer to work with now," and ended the call.

She told me that she didn't know if he was the owner himself or else she would have called and informed them of their loss of business at his hands.  I did ask how far they'd gone with them last time (was wondering if he was feeling burned or something) and she basically said that this was what had her most confused - all they'd done was come to the house, gone over what she had in mind, and named a sum.  My parents talked it over, decided it wasn't the right time for it, and called them to let them know. 

2) My sister just finished her residency and my parents decided to give a lunch for family and friends at a popular Middle Eastern Restaurant in the city.  It is very popular for large gatherings - my cousin had her post-wedding wrap-up brunch there with the whole family - and for their buffet.  They now have two locations that are doing very well.  My mom called two months in advance to book a party of 25.  They have three rooms - one is quite large with a bar in the back and in the past they've set up the buffet there with tables around it.  They have another medium sized room and then a smaller room where they've put parties of larger groups in the past.  After making multiple confirmations, we show up to a restaurant that is so packed with people that there is barely room to walk.  The restaurant for reasons I can't understand booked two parties of 100 people, plus our party of 25, and was still taking walk-in diners.  That in and of itself could be okay since they have capacity to seat that many, but here is the part that makes me want to tear my hair out - they put the buffet in the small room. 

My parent's party was shoved in the back of the small room with walk-ins seated towards the front, with one buffet right by the door and 250 people all trying to get food.  I watched as walk-ins were offered drinks while my parents had to corner a waiter to demand water and drinks be offered at our tables after 30+ minutes had passed.  Our guests could barely get food - the queue was impossibly long and when they arrived, they had to fight just to get in the room where we were seated.  Included in our guests - my mom's uncle who just had heart surgery but made a huge effort to come anyways, my sister's attending who helped her get a job and has given her hundreds of dollars in gifts - my parents were mortified.  The restaurant wouldn't even apologize and tried to blame the guests for the confusion (which made no sense!).  After they way they treated us, we will not be going back - I don't care how good their dill rice is - and I know our family members who live in the area and would normally eat there frequently were ticked off as well.   

atirial

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5951 on: June 14, 2014, 02:34:01 PM »
Our branch of a chain hardware store. We needed to have some building work done, so we contacted them for a quote, and told them our price range.

The initial quote came above our price range, but as we had included a few extras it was acceptable, and we agreed to proceed. Then they sent an inspector round and revised the quote. For exactly the same work they had already quoted on - no building nasties found or any other problem - they upped the quote to one and a half times their initial quote, and over twice our price range.

We phoned up and declined, asking what had changed. They said something vague about building standards, which would have sounded fine except that those were actually itemised on the original quote. We asked if they wanted to take the smaller part of the work, where the quote was still fine. They said no, all or nothing.

Nothing sounds good. We won't be calling them again. What a waste of time.

Queen of Clubs

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5952 on: June 14, 2014, 04:14:38 PM »
The place where I used to live needed a new hot water boiler.  The plumber I hired was late every day, then tried to tell me how punctual he was.  He replaced the water heater, failed to fix the shower that ran off it, and attempted to flirt with me...until his wedding ring dropped out of his spare overalls.  He also pinched the back of my neck as he passed me.

No way, no how would I ever hire him again.

ladyknight1

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5953 on: June 16, 2014, 08:58:08 AM »
Apparently Target Corp had a major computer issue yesterday that took down the registers in all locations.

People waited hours to check out. Now, I love Target, but I would leave the cart and go. There is nothing worth waiting hours for in a store for me.

siamesecat2965

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5954 on: June 16, 2014, 11:52:01 AM »
Apparently Target Corp had a major computer issue yesterday that took down the registers in all locations.

People waited hours to check out. Now, I love Target, but I would leave the cart and go. There is nothing worth waiting hours for in a store for me.

I heard about that, and I agree. What's funny is I go to Target almost weekly, mainly for groceries, but also other misc stuff, and where my Target is, there's a Walmart literally down the road. I prefer Target, but what I needed/wanted, Walmart had where T did not. So rather than going where Target as I normally would, I went to Walmart instead!  someone must like me.

But I never buy anything that I'd need right then and there, or couldnt get elsewhere, so I would have left as well. And you know what, things happen. And sometimes they can't be fixed ASAP.