What am I Worth?

I left the doctor’s office the other day with three prescriptions.  Methotrexate, Folic Acid, and Forteo.  I’d never heard of Forteo before but now that I have,  I’ve decided to refer to it as Skele-Gro as it causes bones to regrow.  It turns out that there aren’t many options in terms of medications that cause bone growth, and my bone’s mineral density is so low that I run the risk of breaking bones by moving wrong or lifting milk out of the fridge.

“The prescription for Forteo may take a little time to get approved through your insurance because it costs over $20,000 a year and you will need to be on it for 2 years,” said my rheumatologist while I looked at her like she had two heads.  Wait, did I hear that right? Over TWENTY THOUSAND dollars?

skele-gro
 
"You're in for a rough night.  Regrowing bones is a nasty business."
— Madam Pomfrey, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

“I’m sorry, but your insurance has refused to pay for this prescription.”

“Really?  Why?” I asked the pharmacist.

“I don’t really know.  We have to see if your doctor can get special approval. You can either wait to see if it gets approved or you can pay full price,” said the pharmacist.

“Which prescription is it?”

“Folic Acid. A 90 day supply will be $32 at full price,” she replied.

Oh, okay, this makes sense.  The $10 a month prescription gets denied but the $2,000 a month prescription goes through without a hitch.  Isn’t that just the way of our weird medical world?

It’s a sobering thought to consider that there’s a price tag on your head when it comes down to what insurance will and will not pay for.  I’m very aware that I’m costing Colorado’s Medicaid a substantial sum of money.  I’m grateful for it and I am also acutely aware that I have not contributed to the system as much as I’m currently taking out of the system.  

At a time in my life when I'm battling some of the worst depression I've ever faced, I question whether or not it's worth it for this amount of money to be spent on me.  What if I never pull it back together and start contributing to society again?  That's the emotion talking. 

I'm not dead yet.  I'm just about to grow some new bones!

My personal, growing pharmacy

Prescriptions:
≈$8,040 quarterly

  • Prozac (Fluoxetine): $125.29
  • Klonopin (Clonazepam): $26.70
  • Zyprexa (Olanzapine): $2,377.30
  • Forteo: $5,370
  • Methotrexate: $63.09
  • Folic Acid: $32.50
  • Vitamin D: $16.32

Waiting room at Denver Health

Appointments:
≈$4,005

  • Therapy: $300
  • Psychiatry: $702
  • Primary Care: $150
  • Rheumatology: $702
  • Dermatology: $468
  • Ear, Nose, & Throat: $234
  • Internal Medicine: $234
  • Oral Surgeon: $180
  • Dentist: $1,035