Saturday, March 19, 2016

The pros/cons of diabetes costs in Ontario

I am fast learning 6 months after my move from Quebec, that though we may pay less in provincial taxes, some costs are higher.  Though the one pro so far here in the small town I live in … when I go to walk in clinic (wait time is far less than in Quebec but for surgical procedures about the same according to 2014 statistics).  This is where things excel, along with referral to a doctor being quick when going to the clinic here in my town.  So I guess it all depends on what is more important to the individual.  For myself though at the moment, seeing my salary and eventually savings when I retire go towards funding the pharmaceutical companies due to my type 1 diabetes, is getting me abit down.  Luckily, my Dad taught me early on in age, whatever I was making, even at $7/ – to save for a rainy day - though I don't know if he meant it to be used on medical expenditures).
I’m finding that prescription costs in the small town I live in are much higher than  in Quebec.  Most of my prescriptions costs are up by $10-$20 more, along with a prescription fee being tacked onto that price as well.  It doesn’t help, living in a smaller town, as my pharmacist explained when I switched the brand of pen needle I use to one that is $25 less.  It’s all about how much they, the pharmacy buys for their clients to use, that controls the prices we pay due to volume.   It’s like really?  So, maybe moving my prescriptions to a bigger city (making a trip every 3 months) – is the way to go while I still have wheels. 

So, some of my little tricks I’m learning in order to feel like I have some sort of control as to how much the big pharmaceutical companies/pharmacy makes from me is to shell out for 3 months supplies of my prescriptions here in Ontario.  This makes the prescription fee less expensive (ohhh and I earn more travel rewards faster on my credit card BUT just have to pay it off in time before I get hit with interest).  Prescription fees in the town I live in can range from $8.41 up to $20.  The reason for the variance floors me to no end and sadly to make the drive to Ottawa, where Costco only charges $4 (remember – you do not need to be a member there to use the prescription service).  I did try to see if the current pharmacy I go to could match Costco’s … but nope … not possible.

Now, if I wasn’t making enough, then it would be a different case with being on the Trillium prescription plan here in Ontario.   I’ve been working on/off over the past 40 years, so I’ll never qualify unless I declare bankruptcy or some other way.  So there’s no win win situation – as one retired person put it to me– if they had to pay out what I do for my diabetes health – they’d not be able to go on their holidays.  That sort of hit me hard with that remark, and even worse was being told that having the insulin pump and CGM would be something they wouldn’t have in order to still do what they want to do.  Yuppers, I can see some of you stunned at that too.  If only they knew what these devices we now have to keep us well controlled can do to make our lives more productive (hey – we’re paying taxes to help pay for their pensions, etc.).  Now, if they’re reading this, maybe my they’ll rethink their comment.

The magic age of 65 is still abit of a ways away, but the main earner of the family after 35 years of working is giving the heave hoe to his work place, since if he stays on, he'll still be paying into a pension fund that won't mean he gets more if he leaves later.   So, while we both have good health, hoping to take advantage of some time off before we are sitting in our rocking chairs watching reruns.  I'm also  hopefully still alive and kicking to take advantage of the services my parents boast about.  

Yes, I’m freaked out about getting old (I can live with the aching knee joints and taking naps in the afternoon sun on the porch) – it’s all about the cost of staying healthy with my diabetes and trying to enjoy the golden years!  Anxiety over this is something I have to keep on pushing away and telling it to F-off!!  

The other option is to move to another province to get more bang for our bucks ( New Brunswick has been calling me for a few years and we are going there in June to check it out - compare it's medical coverage - cost of living in that part of the east coast of Canada ).  

NB:  If you’ve never applied for the Disability Tax Credit that I’d written about in the forums at … then check out how to go about it, along with other tips on how to save at the Diabetes Advocacy website link that you will find here

1 comment:

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