Friday, October 30, 2009

Saving on Prescriptions in BC

Being a Superstar Pharmacy Technician I have learned a few ways to help cut costs on your prescriptions over the years and I thought I would share my knowledge with y'all.

Make sure you are registered with BC Pharmacare. First and foremost for BC residents!!This in not MSP. This is BC's drug plan for the entire province. Registering is very easy. You can do it over the phone, fill out a paper application or even send it in online. You will be required to give up some tax info so that they can decide on your level of coverage. Everyone's coverage is individual and private. Some people will have a deductible they need to reach while others may get partial to full coverage right away on most medications. Note, not all medications are "benefits" of Pharmacare.

It is becoming a growing trend for private and work insurance companies to require you be registered with BC Pharmacare or face being cut off. Ugh, don't let that happen to you. I've seen it and it really sucks to have to pay up front for meds.

Always ask if you are able to get 3 months at a time. Make sure when you are at the doctors office to ask for him to write your script for bigger quantities at a time. When you get 3 months at a time instead of 1 you can save 2 dispensing fees. At my pharmacy the dispensing fee is $10.60 so that would be a total off $21.20 saved. I say three months because that is usually the max your insurance or Pharmacare will pay up to.

Ask your doctor for samples. I learned a long time ago that doctors have this wonderful area in their clinics called the sample closet which is packed full of meds. If you are using an expensive medication this can be very cost saving. I once had samples for a medication that otherwise cost $5 per capsule. BF got samples for a medication that would have cost us $60 by now. A few years ago my doctors office stocked my brand of birth control. Very nice! Sometimes certain drug companies supply a card for a free trial amount that can be redeemed at the pharmacy.

Go generic. Most medications are available in generic form and they are their brand named equal for a reduced cost. Even birth control has started coming out with generics over the last two years or so. You can usually switch to a generic at anytime by just asking at your pharmacy. Most insurance will pay for the generic cost only and you may have to pay the difference for brand.

What has your insurance done for you lately? I see girls all the time that pay for insurance that doesn't include birth control coverage. What is that? Many times its the only prescription they have. What a joke. Make sure your coverage works for you and your needs.

Find a pharmacy that works for you. If you are somebody who needs to have a good relation with your pharmacist or requires certain hours of availability or special services then you should choose your pharmacy accordingly. If you only get one or two prescriptions a year and don't need a lot of guidance from your pharmacist then choose one with a lesser dispensing fees. Not all dispensing fees are created equally but neither are pharmacies!

There are a few trade secrets for you! If I think of any others I will be sure to update you.

Inspired By Krystal

Christmas Thoughts

This year I will spend yet another Christmas alone in this little house. While I will still be joining my family for dinner and small gift exchange, BF will be in Quebec. The thought of joining him did entertain my thoughts it just isn't the right time to be spending extra money with the trip coming up. Also, it will be my last Christmas with my family for awhile.

Usually at Christmas everyone buys for the children and our parents and then there is a "secret" Santa draw between everyone. This never ends well. I don't know what it is about my family and holidays but it can be very trying. This year I announced that I opting out of the gift exchange. I still want to buy a little something for my niece, nephew and parents but everyone else will get baking or something. I'm thinking some of my delicious pumpkin loaf.

I feel this decision will result in less stress for everyone and hopefully will refocus the family on spending quality time together and sharing a home cooked meal beside a well dressed tree. I hope to get a nice family picture in too for my mothers sake.

I have already purchased a gift for my niece so I just really have to shop for my nephew and parents. I'm going to start keeping this in mind when I'm out and about shopping. I'll also make sure to keep my ears perked for ideas.

The best part about Christmas for me is getting to bring out the handmade ornaments from my grandparents to adorn the tree. That's what makes it truly special.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Most Thoughtful Gift

BF and I recently went through an entire week of bad luck. It started with our computer refusing to turn on (RIP old friend) one morning. That afternoon BF came to pick me up from work and on our way home our truck started blowing smoke everywhere and overheating. The next day he blew the tire on his bike on the way home from work in the rain. The following day I was in the shower when the biggest nose bleed of my life occured. I never have nose bleeds ever. On my way into my room after the shower I flipped on the light to have the bulb flash and die. The next day I almost threw my back out picking up the garbage can to take to the curb because there was a crack in the lid and it filled with water. Then I had to drain the water out off the back deck which stunk like rot because we had had turkey dinner 7 days before.

Nice, right?

The worst part... my computer was dead. I realized then how much I depend on my computer. I had planned 75% of my birthday on Facebook and now was 5 days away without being able to get online. I had to look things up using a phonebook. I couldn't read your blogs!!! All the wonderful goodies were gone.

Then I realized... my photos. Every picture I had taken in 10 years. People who have read my blog for awhile may remember that last year my grandfathers home burned down. Hundreds of family photos and mementos gone. My mothers things were stored there too so all of those pictures were gone too. Me being the photographer of the family had any pictures left of the last few years of family get togethers. Now I had lost my pictures. All the pictures of my Grandfather over the last year of his life. I was so depressed.

Two days before my big party night Nathaniel rang me up and told me he was going to ask his roommate to throw together a computer for me to use until my trip to Australia. I couldn't believe it. That would only be one day to put together a computer and I really didn't expect his housemate to go to so much last minute trouble for me.

To my delight Nathaniel arrived here on a ferry carring a tower for me. Stashed away in his stylish suitcase was another gift. An external harddrive. My friend had come to save the day and help me restore my most cherished possessions.

I had forgotten how many other things had accumulated over the last 9 years. My old business logos, my resume, all my documents and pictures. I had been planning to back up all of these things but procrastinated a week too long.

So a big shout out is due to Nathaniel for helping his computer illiterate friend bring her most personal items back to life and giving me the gift of amazing memories. He always asks me to write an updated post and this one is just for him, to recognize what an amazing friend I have.

Also, to Housemate. To take time out of your schedule to do such a big last minute project for a girl who you only see when she's crashing at your pad... you are my hero! Dinner is on me the next time I'm over. I cannot thank you enough for helping us to restore my files. It means a lot to both me and my family. I'll be sure to "pay it forward" in some way. Thanks again!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Is Anybody Out There?

Many times I've sat at this keyboard with nothing to say. Either that or I just had an overwhelming amount of things to say and ended up writing nothing. I really started to struggle with blogging and for awhile found it to be not very fun anymore. Thats when I decided to step away from my computer and focus on other parts of my life.

My summer was amazing. BF and I went on two big hikes. We learned how to play disc golf and started kite flying. I spent more time with family and friends. I updated our personal blog for all our friends and family who live away from us. I took a few french lessons and bought some books to help me learn the basics of the language.

October has been great. I had the best birthday of my entire life last Saturday which all my friends attended and we all had a great drunken time. I had my family over for Thanksgiving dinner. I visited my grandfathers memorial site today for his birthday. Soon it will be halloween, my favorite holiday of the year.

I'm sorry that I didn't update at all to let you guys know that I was okay and doing well but sometimes life happens and things slide. I still read your blogs and cherish my fellow bloggers support and advice. I'm going to start blogging again but I don't promise to update every day. Maybe once a week. I hope you'll still read from time to time.

Love Dolly