Health care is a hot topic of conversation lately in politics since the Affordable Care Act and now numerous methods of reform are being discussed. But also with regard to the economy since the cost of care seems astronomical lately. Many argue that one of the drivers behind a lot of that cost increase is prescription drugs.
According to data analyzed by 3 Axis Advisors (a health care research firm), retail prices for 460 prescription drugs are increasing by an average of 5.2% in 2020 – more than double the projected rate of inflation for the year. Many manufacturers are raising the prices on existing drugs as well, so it isn’t just new therapies being introduced.
While patients typically don’t have a say in the diagnosis or treatment plans they receive from medical professionals, they do have a choice (and a right) to look into where they get prescription medications from. You, as the patient, owe it to yourself to do a little bit of research and get your drugs at the lowest cost possible to you.
Here are a few ideas to explore so you can be sure you’re doing all that you can as an advocate for yourself:
• Sourcing for lower cost – A common misconception is that one drug will cost the same regardless of where you have the prescription filled… Publix, CVS, Walgreens, Winn Dixie, etc. There are tools such as GoodRx that allow you to search specific drug names and find the cost at different retailers in your area.
• Coupons – There are websites online, the manufacturer itself, and retailer coupons that can provide significant savings. Some pharmacists will check for coupons on your behalf but not always.
• Websites such as Drug Store Unlimited that get drugs from other countries can also save money.
• Patient assistance programs – Ask your doctor about programs available in your area that may offer advice and guidance, more so with Medicare but also for individual health plans.
Just a few minutes of your time before you fill your next prescription could be very beneficial to you.
With sinkhole activity up all around the state of Florida and especially a few big ones in the news lately, many people are wondering what exactly a sinkhole is and if they have adequate coverage for the damage one could cause.
To first clarify what a sinkhole is – it is a depression, cavity or hole in the ground caused by some sort of collapse. Some believe these are a result of a soil issue, earth movement, nearby development, erosion, or running water such as a broken pipe underground. There are several things that can cause a sinkhole to open up and unfortunately, they can happen rather quickly and unexpectedly. Because there are not always indications or warnings, sinkholes can be very dangerous.
When there are symptoms of sinkhole activity, they typically include the following:
- cracks in interior joint areas, windows or doors
- cracks in exterior block or stucco
- windows and doors become harder to close properly
- depressions in your yard, other yards near you or the street
- deep cracks and separation of paved concrete walks and drives
- circular patches of wilting plants
- sediment in your water
- neighbors with confirmed sinkhole activity
- observation of an actual cavity beginning to open
In order for a claim to be covered as a sinkhole loss, there must be “actual physical damage to the property covered arising out of or caused by sudden settlement or collapse of the earth supporting such property only when such settlements or collapse results from subterranean voids created by the action of water on a limestone or similar rock formation.” More simply stated, not all direct collapses from settlement problems fall within sinkhole coverage.
At this time, most home insurance companies in Florida do not provide sinkhole coverage unless you have an underwriting approved sinkhole inspection.
It is important to note that a sinkhole differs from catastrophic ground cover collapse. This coverage is almost always on home insurance policies in Florida. There are a few things to consider as somewhat of a rule-of-thumb when it comes to catastrophic ground cover collapse such as:
- the abrupt collapse of the ground cover
- a depression clearly visible to the naked eye
- structural damage to the building including foundation
- the structure being condemned or vacated by government authority or official
Because sinkhole activity has grown to be just about as common as hurricanes and water damage in Florida, it is very important for all home owners to understand what coverage their policy has and pursue endorsements and inspections as they see fit to protect their property and belongings from damage. If you ever suspect sinkhole activity, it is advised to secure the location from people and pets and then contact local authority and your insurance agent.