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Asthma-Question with regards to health care/insurance.

Asthma-Question with regards to health care/insurance.

Old Jun 19th 2010, 8:25 pm
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Default Asthma-Question with regards to health care/insurance.

Hi,

My partner and I are potentially looking to move to California and whilst I appreciate that general health insurance questions cannot be answered as different companies and different people = different prices etc.

My question is a little more specific: I have quite bad asthma (2 inhalers, I need 2 of each, one for work and one for home, both need to be replaced approximately every 2 months). Does anyone else have asthma and can tell me how much you generally pay per prescription. And do you get repeat prescriptions in America, ie, do I have to visit a doctor for every prescription or as I have to have it all the time, can I just get it from Walgreens on repeat?
Any info would be greatly appreciated so I can have a general idea of what to expect (or build up a huge bucket load of them before I come out! )

Many thanks
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 9:04 pm
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Default Re: Question with regards to health care/insurance.

I can't answer regarding asthma specifically but depending on the type of medical coverage you have, perscriptions can be anything from $10 to $25. Repeat perscriptions are much the same as the UK. You keep getting them for a certain period and then the doctor may want to see you after a certain time for check up and continue the perscription.

You can register with a specific pharmacy and call your doctor for the repeat perscription and then pick it up from your pharmacy. Usually it's best to call ahead for them to prepare it else you have a long wait. Much the same as at home.

Not sure if you will have a problem with the insurance as it's a pre-existing condition. You might have to end up paying for them directly but with something like a genertic inhaler that might be cheaper than getting them on perscription anyway. Either way, stock up with as many as you can before you come
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Old Jun 20th 2010, 12:46 am
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Default Re: Question with regards to health care/insurance.

Husband gets Advair through CVS mail order, they're about $15 each.

But he just told me that he hasn't used it in about a month now - this is amazing considering he used to use his inhalers several times a day. He puts it down to living in a house with no rugs, no curtains, allergenic pillows that are changed regularly, no pets, and a dry climate.

It's worth looking into getting maintenance medication like inhalers by mail order because it's much cheaper, but be aware that they will tie you in so that you have to get all maintenance meds through the same mail order scheme.
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Old Jun 20th 2010, 2:11 am
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Default Re: Question with regards to health care/insurance.

I'll just say that the prices quoted are not going to be guaranteed. It will depend hugely on the drug, the dose and the insurance. It may be very cheap but it may run you a couple of hundred a month or more. Generally once you see a doctor you will get a prescription that has certain number of refills. Usually you'll get 12 months for something like asthma.
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Old Jun 20th 2010, 1:42 pm
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Default Re: Question with regards to health care/insurance.

What my doctor does is give me a script for my diabetic meds for a 90 day supply with three refills. If it is a continuous med then they usually give you several refills on the same script.
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Old Jun 20th 2010, 2:07 pm
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Default Re: Question with regards to health care/insurance.

The inhalers I use are around $200 each without insurance. Luckily I have cover and get them by mail order for $40 for 3 inhalers.
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Old Jun 21st 2010, 1:28 pm
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Default Re: Asthma-Question with regards to health care/insurance.

Two thoughts occur:

1. As kins touches on, asthma is often dependent (at least in part) on environment. You may find that things clear up in CA.

2. IIRC, the definition of "pre-existing condition" is one for which you've received treatment or been prescribed medication in the last 6 months. If your GP would be prepared to give you a supply that will last longer than 6 months (or if you can build such a supply, if there's time before you leave the UK, by going back for refills before you run out and saving the extras) then you may be able to engineer a situation such that, when you come to sign up for health insurance in the US, you have neither been treated nor prescribed meds for asthma in the last 6 months. Presto - technically, no pre-existing condition...
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Old Jun 21st 2010, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Asthma-Question with regards to health care/insurance.

Originally Posted by chartreuse View Post
2. IIRC, the definition of "pre-existing condition" is one for which you've received treatment or been prescribed medication in the last 6 months. If your GP would be prepared to give you a supply that will last longer than 6 months (or if you can build such a supply, if there's time before you leave the UK, by going back for refills before you run out and saving the extras) then you may be able to engineer a situation such that, when you come to sign up for health insurance in the US, you have neither been treated nor prescribed meds for asthma in the last 6 months. Presto - technically, no pre-existing condition...
Taking medication counts as treatment so they would have to not use any inhalers.
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Old Jun 21st 2010, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: Asthma-Question with regards to health care/insurance.

"when you come to sign up for health insurance in the US, you have neither been treated nor prescribed meds for asthma in the last 6 months. Presto - technically, no pre-existing condition..."

I would be very wary about doing this. The first time you get asthma meds they're going to pretty much know it was pre-existing and the worst thing you can do with health insurance is be caught in a lie, even a pseudo-lie, because they'll just deny your claims for everything. You may have to ride out the pre-existing condition clause and pay for the medication in full for six months, or whatever their period is, but unless you like taking chances, that would probably be a much better option than lying on your forms.
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Old Jun 22nd 2010, 1:02 am
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Default Re: Asthma-Question with regards to health care/insurance.

Originally Posted by Jscl View Post
"when you come to sign up for health insurance in the US, you have neither been treated nor prescribed meds for asthma in the last 6 months. Presto - technically, no pre-existing condition..."

I would be very wary about doing this. The first time you get asthma meds they're going to pretty much know it was pre-existing and the worst thing you can do with health insurance is be caught in a lie, even a pseudo-lie, because they'll just deny your claims for everything. You may have to ride out the pre-existing condition clause and pay for the medication in full for six months, or whatever their period is, but unless you like taking chances, that would probably be a much better option than lying on your forms.
Pre-existing condition is a federally defined term. As long as you comply with the definition then it doesn't matter what happens after you get coverage. It's a very useful loophole if your condition can be managed without a doctor or medication for 6 months
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Old Jun 22nd 2010, 2:16 am
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Default Re: Asthma-Question with regards to health care/insurance.

I have asthma and normally would take a Ventolin inhaler, however you can buy one here off the shelf in most places called Piritine Mist which works just as well, as yet I haven't had to get a prescription for my usual inhaler.
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 3:14 am
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Default Re: Asthma-Question with regards to health care/insurance.

Hope yours clears up like mine did when I moved to kansas, used to be heavily dependant on them, now maybe have to use a salbutamol(spelling??-blue one) once a month. We did get some when we got here I was on the combined inhaler was about $150 even with insurance
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Old Jun 23rd 2010, 3:34 am
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Default Re: Asthma-Question with regards to health care/insurance.

I was given an Advair sample by the Doc, I went to get another and it was over $100 for a months supply, so I gave it a miss.
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Old Jul 16th 2010, 11:57 am
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Default Re: Asthma-Question with regards to health care/insurance.

Talk to your insurance company. I am on a group policy arranged by my employers - because the UK has a social healthcare system it is treated as existing cover. Therefore my group insurance covers ALL pre-existing conditions as I am transferring my cover from the UK rather than starting new cover in the US.
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Old Jul 16th 2010, 12:31 pm
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Default Re: Asthma-Question with regards to health care/insurance.

Originally Posted by barnabassmith View Post
Asthma is a accepted bloom action affecting about 16 actor Americans.1 Despite advances in our compassionate of asthma, the development of bigger medications for alleviative it, and civic guidelines for the analysis and administration of asthma, anguish from asthma continues to be an important bloom problem, so has the charge for simple, office-based accoutrement that can be acclimated to analyze the accommodating who is at accident for approaching exacerbations that will crave the use of astute affliction services.
Once more... in English please!

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