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Do you ask?

If your doctor gives you a prescription you can't afford, do you ask for a lower cost alternative?

If uou can't pay for medical care, do you explore your options to pay independently for care before you just assume you can't have it?

Do you think that common sense classes might be a good start to healthcare reform?


Asked by lovinangels at 12:52 PM on Aug. 30, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (112,638 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (20)
  • I've worked in two hospitals and four doctors' offices. Each and every place offered alternate payment plans. The doctors and hospitals ALL gave free care, discounted care, and payment plans. In case of emergency, you could always negotiate after the fact. When it came to meds, the doctors gave away tons of free prescription drugs, or would try to prescribe cheaper alternatives.

    The doctors I worked for ranged from Cardiologists, Pediatricians, and OB/GYNs.  None of them heartlessly turned people away for care if the couldn't pay.  All you had to do was ask.


    Answer by mancosmomma at 4:10 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • Great questions, lovinangels. I dont have any prescriptions (I try to stay far away from the Big Pharma) and rarely go to the doctor unless it's needed, but with my mother having Lupus and RA she's in and out of the doctor constantly. She always asks for the "cheaper route", but I think her common sense with doctors comes from her being a RN for over 10 years now.

    Answer by BEXi at 12:57 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • Friday, I took the kids for their checkup. We see a family practice, so I made an appt for my own care. The topic? My 90 dollar a month breathing habit. The newer inhalers mandated by the gov don't manage my asthma well, so I needed a second drug. All tolled, 90 bucks out of pocket.
    The second med is on the third tier of our plan, as well. The doc was really upset. He didn't know the details of what our plan covers! I walked out of their with three months worth of free meds. Just had to speak up.

    Answer by lovinangels at 12:58 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • Good for you, lovinangels! It's true that a lot of people dont speak up and just take their doctors word for it.

    Answer by BEXi at 1:00 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • I speak up. I also always ask if they have any samples. When my son was on formula, I always asked for sample cans when I took him to the Pediatrician.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:19 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • When my Mother almost died during our vacation last year, no, she didn't ask anything. The doctors did what they needed to do to save her life. The Bill = more than 20,000 for one day in the hospital. We also had to fork out a few hundred bucks for meds given to her there.

    She had private insurance, they paid most of it...Should she have stopped them and asked for a cheaper alternative?

    When my hubby need 3 stitches, they charged 1,500.00 There was no cheaper alternative. Of course the insurance co. only paid $300.oo and called it even but if we didnt have insurance we would have been billed the 1500 PLUS the seperate doctors bill..

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 1:21 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • HI Sweet!

    I don't want to use all my space up by copying and pasting, lol!

    Obviously in a lifesaving situation, the docs need to do what they need to do. Same thing when you are bleeding, of course.

    But in chronic, long term illnesses, or injuries, the docs will often subscribe a drug without a thought to out of pocket cost. My doc has a separate rate for those without insurance. In PA if you need a procedure and can't afford to pay there are programs and charities to help. my point is you don't have to treat going to the doc like a trip to the grocery store. You can negotiate and get help.

    They should teach stuff like this in Home Ec. instead of sewing shorts. No one sews their own clothes anymore.

    Answer by lovinangels at 1:38 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • There was no cheaper alternative.

    If he only needed 3 stitches it's likely there was a cheaper alternative.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:38 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • I'm so lucky! I have the best doctor in the world. He is very considerate on those things,and always, always looks for the lowest cost alternative first,and if he can't find it, will give me samples,so I don't have to pay out the nose. However, if this plan passes, regardless of what Obama says, I seriously doubt I'd be able to keep him as my doctor.

    Answer by stvmen88 at 1:52 PM on Aug. 30, 2009

  • Although, I totally agree with what you are saying, because that is what we do and the husband has diabetes, so we are ALWAYS looking for the least expensive perscription. However, this wouldn't solve the problem. People need to get CAT scans, surgeries, therapy that is so expensive it breaks them. Deciding between eating and health care is not something we, the richest country in the world, should ask our citizens to do.

    Actually, my suggestion would be to outlaw the Lobby. Personally, I feel like that alone would force healthcare insurance providers to compete.

    Answer by urkiddingright at 2:14 PM on Aug. 30, 2009