Friday, February 24, 2017

Save Money by Talking to a Pharmacist


Hello, UFF Mom here. I won't write long tonight because my arm is sore. Poor me.

Why is it sore, you ask? I'll tell you. It's because I had a typhoid vaccine after work today. The injectable sort.

First I used the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Yellow Book online to look up which vaccines were recommended for my travel destination. I did NOT call the fancy local "Travel Clinic" which would have charged me at least a hundred dollars for a consultation to say the same thing.

Next I called my local Fred Meyer Pharmacy, which carries travel vaccinations, and chatted with a friendly pharmacist to find out if they had it in stock, how much it would cost, if I needed an appointment, etc.

She kindly mentioned that there is both an oral and injectable form of the typhoid vaccine. She usually recommends the oral form because it lasts longer, "unless insurance is an issue". Wait, what?

Turns out the oral form is flagged as a travel vaccine, which insurance companies do not cover. The injectable form somehow escapes this marking, since most routine vaccinations are injectable. She ran a quick test and found that the shot was 100% covered by my health insurance, neatly saving $109.00.

I showed up at the pharmacy at 5:30, met the same friendly pharmacist from the phone, got right back in, and she suffered my questions about her injection technique (darting or non? Quick or slow?) and had it done before I knew she'd started.

Best shot I've had in years. I didn't even feel it, and neither did my budget.

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