This year UC eliminated the health care plan that I’ve been using for the past several years, and the closest similar plan was quite expensive. I decided to switch to a low-cost plan that has a high deductible, which means that I’ll be paying cash for my prescriptions and doctor visits this year, at least until I reach the deductible (which probably won’t happen—unless I have a major bike accident or someone in the family gets seriously ill).
I take generic atorvastatin, a very cheap drug, on a daily basis for controlling cholesterol. I decided to check whether I should continue with the pharmacy I’ve been using (the closest one) or look for a cheaper one. Under the previous insurance plan, I could select pharmacies for convenience, since my co-pay was the same no matter what. I checked online, and found that Consumer Reports had found a big difference between pharmacies for generic atorvastatin, so I called both my current pharmacy and Costco (the one that Consumer Reports had found cheapest).
If I stay with the CVS I’ve been using, my atorvastatin would cost me $9.40 a day. At Costco, it would be 77¢ a day (both based on 100-pill purchases of both 2omg and 40mg pills and no Costco card or other discounts). I had expected some difference in price, but not a 12-to-1 difference!
If I used a pill splitter, I could reduce the costs to $7.05 a day at CVS or 61¢ a day at Costco, but the hassle of splitting pills is not worth 16¢ a day. Needless to say, I’ve asked my doctor to switch my prescription to Costco.