On May 17, 2012, I posted concerns about our prescription refills when we are out of the US. As is the case with most insurance plans, the servicing mail-order pharmacy will not send more than three month’s of medications at any time.
Writing that post prompted me to contact the mail order pharmacy to request an exception, due to our unusual circumstances of our being out of the country for years as opposed to months.
Here was the conversation with them:
“We’d like to request that we receive 12 months of prescriptions in October 2012 before we depart for our journey. A year later, we will ensure we are at a location with an address and have you mail them to us for another year. Our doctor has approved this.”
“Oh, we don’t send the prescriptions outside of the US,” he said with authority in his voice.
Hum…I mused to myself. My choice was either to alienate him by complaining about their policy which was surely futile or, give him a proposal. Here’s what I proposed:
“Sir, we will be getting a new address in the US when we establish residency in another state in December 2012. Also, we will be obtaining the services of mail handling company in the same state. Could you send the prescriptions, 12 months at a time, directly to that address?”
“Gee, I don’t know,” he quips, question marks flying around his head.
“Can you find out?” I asked. This was like pulling teeth!
“Uh, yea. Can you hold?” The authority was gone from his voice.
On hold for 15 minutes, he returns with his answers. “Thank you for holding. We’ll be sending you forms in the (snail) mail with instructions.”
“Oh, I have poor handwriting (true). Can you email them to me or are they available online?” I asked with the utmost of sincerity.
“No, they have to be snail mailed and completed by hand,” he says, sounding annoyed with me.
Good grief! Where’s my old typewriter?
Within days of my inquiry, we received a packet of complicated forms, stating not only our standard identification information (OK, I get this) including every word on our ID cards (they have this). We were asked to list one prescription per page, reasons for the prescriptions, how long we’d had the illness, the diagnosis and the prescribing physician’s information.
With our regular daily prescriptions plus an additional prescriptions for preventive and emergency travel conditions, this would result in completing 20 pages! It would take days.
Yes, I could manually enter the repeated information, for example; ID information, addresses and prescribing physician information, etc. and then proceed to copy and print the 20 pages, subsequently, manually entering the requested lengthy medical information. This still would take days!
Yesterday, I called asking to speak to a supervisor, asking that our conversation be recorded (it was) and documented (hopefully, it was) and here was my proposal:
1. Complete one page with the pertinent basic information.
2. Print all of our prescriptions directly out of their system. (They could have done this!)
3. Write a letter, signed by both Tom and I, explaining our circumstances, reasons for the request, including our itinerary for the next 949 days thus far.
4. Staple this together.
5. Snail mail.
The supervisor agreed to my proposal. I reminded him to post it in the system as to his agreement with my proposal. Otherwise, they will receive the packet, send it back to me, complaining I didn’t fill it out correctly and this entire process would begin again. Of course, I made copies of everything.
Does this scenario sound familiar? I’ll keep you posted on the end result.