How Cigna Pharmacy Overcharged Me (And An Update On My Eyes)

Prolensa Bottle

Can you tell the difference between these two bottles of Prolensa (bromfenac ophthalmic solution) 0.07% 3 mL?

Me either. But Cigna says it’s $100+. Say what?

I’ve battled with my eyesight for years. I was able to throw out my coke-bottle glasses after my first Lasik surgery back in 2001. My vision was immediately 20/20 but slowly became near-sighted again. I had two different Lasik enhancement procedures in 2008 that brought me back to 20/20, but then again started becoming near-sighted again. Each year I went to my eye doctor, I’d need a higher prescription for new glasses to help me see far away. Thus all the #KimsGlasses pics.

Feeling frustrated, I inquired about having accommodating Crystalens implants during cataract surgery (yes, I had cataracts, too). I would’ve had it done a month sooner, but I had the opportunity to be on the Steve Harvey Show, so I rescheduled to have it done after that.

Anyway, when surgery was scheduled, they gave me two prescriptions for Prolensa, one for the left eye and one for the right eye as the surgeries were scheduled a week apart, and they wanted me to use different bottles for each eye.

The first bottle I got filled right away at my local Hy-Vee pharmacy where they know us by name. They also know I always question if one of my prescriptions cost a lot of money, so they called me after I dropped off the script to warn me that this little bottle would cost me $70. Seventy dollars is definitely a lot of money to me, but I figured I needed it, so paid up.

I have Cigna health insurance that offers a home delivery pharmacy, so I figured that I should be able to send in the second prescription into Cigna and get that bottle for less than the first bottle that I got a retail pharmacy. They claim they can offer lower prices on medications that they fill themselves.

Imagine my surprise when I see that Cigna charged my debit card $175!

They had my card on file from using them previously for a different medication. I immediately log-in and ask them to cancel the order. They respond that they can’t because it’s already been shipped. So I ask if I can refuse shipment for a refund. Again, the answer was no. I asked why they charged me so much when I got the exact same thing filled at a retail pharmacy for over $100 less. They respond with some BS about my benefit plan. They could give me no explanation for the dramatic difference in cost.

And the worst part? The Rx didn’t even arrive in time for my surgery.

Luckily, the staff had samples to give me to use. And as of today, I am still using those samples, so I wouldn’t have even needed that second prescription filled. Ugh.

Not only am I frustrated with Cigna, I’m still frustrated with my eyesight. I’m trying to be patient as the procedure I had done is a three step process, and I’ve only done the first step (the actual cataract surgery and lens implant). I immediately went from being near-sighted to far-sighted, which is a hard adjustment for me.

I had my left eye done first and even contemplated not getting my right eye done because the vision was/is still so bad in my left eye and full of floaters. Come to find out, they inserted the wrong power in that eye. Just my luck! My options are another surgery to implant the correct lens or wait to correct it with Lasik (which the surgeon recommended; my PCP says of course they recommend that because it’s less expensive than another invasive surgery).

I had to get a pair of glasses made up so that I can work as I can’t even see my computer monitors without them. And I can barely see my iPhone, even with my glasses on and after setting the fonts to the largest they can be.

The next (second) step in November will be a YAG laser, and the third step will be the Lasik in December. But since my implants will not change with age, this fine tuning is supposed to last forever, unlike my previous Lasik procedures. I pray my eyesight will again be 20/20 after all is said and done because right now I’m debating on whether all of this money I’m paying out will be worth it.

P.S. I started writing this post yesterday and then went to church last night. How ironic it was that the sermon was about how Jesus cured Bartimaeus’s eyesight. I have faith mine will be restored by the end of the year as well. God please grant me patience.

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