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Articles tagged with: Medco Health

Written By: Gary on March 1, 2008 10 Comments

First of all, I love Medco for so many reasons, but the fact that all the annoying things they do basically annoy me sometimes makes me wonder if it’s worth it. I’ll list what I like:

  • I’ve been very fortunate and pay virtually nothing for my prescriptions, at a local store I pay $5 a month and with Medco I pay $2 (total) for 3 months. Now that’s my current insurance plan and not Medco so it’s not a plus just for them (and my co-pay is about to go way up).
  • I can call with a drug question at any time and they can get an answer for me (I’m not sure if they’re 24 hours, but I know I’ve called close to midnight on a holiday before).
  • I can renew on-line and see my history of everything they’ve mailed to me for a long while.
  • They give me postage paid envelopes to mail in prescriptions.

    So this is where my “What I hate about Medco” rant starts, it’s everything else they kind of make as annoying as possible and it’s got to cast them money and time (mine too!). It’s really strange considering they’ve got the normal part perfect from a customer service standpoint (see above). It’s the odd things that they handle strangely, for example:

  • They called me the other day and left a message so I had to call back and they had to transfer me to two other people to figure out why they called me (plus they disconnected me once). Here’s what it is: the off brand of something works better for me ansod the doctor wrote it that way, they were actually calling me to tell me that they’re shipping me what I ordered and next time I should check to see if they have it in stock. I’m sure I’ve been using this for several years and had it written the same way every time and it’s never wasted 20 minutes of my life on the phone before. Besides the doctor wrote it for the drug I want (DAW=dispense as written), they shouldn’t ship me anything but that, I shouldn’t need to call them for them to ship me the correct drug, right? Big huge waste of my time and theirs.
  • Most calls that I’ve had to return to them over the years go that way, it takes them a whole to figure out why I’m calling (and I have the ref number they gave me) and it just takes forever and it’s usually on something odd.
  • They don’t handle multiple addresses very well considering they do ship out drugs that need to be kept cold (in the middle of summer I ship that stuff to work). So you have to change the computer address when you have them refill that medicine so it goes where you want.
  • In the mean time if you mail in a prescription with the other address pre-printed on the form and circle it in red and write in big letters “ship here” they still call you to make sure that’s where you want it shipped (duh!).
  • And then all paper-work notifications go to the work address since you had to change your address to that location. They need a way for you “billing”/paperwork address to be a different address.
  • When you go on-line in February and they list drugs they can be refilled in March if you click “refill now” for many of them you will get mailings or phone calls (I can’t figure out how they choose) that complain that “you filled them too soon” even though they told you to!
  • Today, I got a phone call for some prescriptions that the doctor sent in electronically on Monday and they’ll ship on March 3rd. For one thing if I needed it today, I wouldn’t have mailed it in, but why did it take them until Saturday to not know they won’t ship it until next week?

    The other big annoyance is everything they leave you a message about is useless since none of it mentions the drug name. It’s all some prescription number which means nothing to me. I understand they don’t want to violate HIPA, but it’s simple enough to check the file and see that it says: this guy wants us to leave him his information in a message this would be convenient to him and not any kind of violation since he requests it. This seems like a pretty simple process for them to impalement for the sake of customer service (it’d be like locking or unlocking your domain name).

    They do e-mail me some information (generally on shipment) but it’s also lacking the drug name, which is silly since I assume most of the population (not me) uses the same password for their e-mail as they do for the medical website it’s probably not protecting anything. But I don’t understand why they just don’t mail me everything.

    So as I said, I normally pay $5 for a prescription and I can get 3 months from mailing in for only $2. But when my insurance changes that’s going to go up to $10 a month and mail-in will be $20 for 3 months. I’m still saving money, but can I do better (or just as well) with local stores and coupons or with bonuses that they always offer to switch stores? Sure that’d be an annoyance but at least they’d be annoying me on my terms…

  • Written By: Gary on May 30, 2006 2 Comments

    These are things that (to me) save time and money and I don’t understand why people who have the option don’t use them…

    Use Mail In Prescriptions
    We have a prescription plan at work and it’s a great one. It’s $5 an order of a prescription (generally a month’s worth) but if you mail it in they send you about 3 months worth for $2. $2 vs. $15 and I don’t have to go back to the pharmacy, this isn’t a complicated decision.
    Using the ATM Machine
    I go to the back, they’ve got two drive through lines backed up and I generally pull right up the the ATM machine (or wait for one person) and get my cash (maybe make a deposit) and go and the same people are still at the back of the line. I’m not sure why all those people are in line, are they getting better cash? Do they really like using the pneumatic tubes that much? It’s pretty much the same issue using the walk up bank vs. walk up ATM, except you don’t get to use the tubes…
    Automatic bill payment
    Many (most?) utility companies will automatically charge your bill to your checking account, these are generally done the day the bill is due and it’s generally free. Did you get this: you don’t have to use a check, take the time to write it out, use a 39 cent stamp and then mail it (where it’s probably going to get there early or late, not the day it’s due, right?), they’ll just do it automatically for you! My gas, electric, cable and cell phone company will do this. Plus my mortgage, my association fees, car insurance, homeowners insurance and several of my charge cards will do this too (all on the exact day it’s due). This isn’t on-line banking, they just do it (for free). That’s about 8 checks and envelopes a month plus over $3 in stamps.

    Use Direct Deposit
    All these people I know have to rush out on payday and deposit their paycheck. They could just have work automatically deposit it and it would be there for them, no muss or fuss. It actually gets touched by less humans that way, which to me means less chance of an error. Actually, I know why some people don’t do this, they deposit the check at the bank less some cash for themselves and don’t tell their spouse. If the whole check went in, someone would notice how much cash they took out…
    Buy stamps
    You can get a ‘buy stamps by mail’ envelope at the post office and send for stamps via postage paid mail and when they mail you the stamps they send you another envelope. This still takes time but if you aren’t in a hurry it beats the line at the post office.

    For all this I don’t have to remember to do anything, it’s just done automagically and for free. You can’t beat a deal like that. I hate paying bills and I like my free time, it’s a nice balance.

    Written By: Gary on November 27, 2004 No Comment

    So I signed up for getting some of my prescriptions by mail. I just got my first shipment. Here’s my pros & cons…

    Pro: It’s only $2 for a 90 day supply (normally $15). That’s only 66 cents a month instead of $5 dollars. They’ve got pharmacists available 24 hours a day (although I waited 10-15 minutes today).

    Cons: If I wait until the last minute it’ll take 4 days to get more. If I get something different (wrong) I get a 3 month supply; if I had been at the store and looked at it I could have had them swap it or something.

    So the differences were the allergy medicine was the “real” stuff when I’ve only ever had the generic, it’s different in the active ingredients so we’ll see how that works for me. One of the other ones was the “same” but tablet not capsule, it’s “exactly the same” but if I want the capsule instead I need the doctor to rewrite it (why if it’s exactly the same? they made the judgement call to give me the tablets, not the capsules…).

    Did I tell you it’s only $2 for a 3 month supply?!? (That’s as close to “free” as you can get).

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