That’s how much it costs to get an eye infection.
I’d mentioned last week that my left eye was spectacularly red. It also burned, looked a tad inflamed, and watered while I slept. I had my annual contacts/eyeglasses exam yesterday and had the irritated eye checked out while I was there. Turns out I have some pretty good inflammation in that eye although nothing that some meds and a little TLC can’t fix.
The eye doctor thinks that my eye is failing to make enough oily tears (our eyes produce two types of tears – oily and watery) so it lacks that lubrication. To compensate, I am over-producing watery tears but in the process making it more difficult for any oily tears I do produce to stick around. Long story short, my eyes, especially the left one, are dry (probably due to the change in temperatures/seasons) and need some assistance in recovering.
So I was prescribed steroidal eye drops, told to take three fish oil pills a day, and given some non-prescription moisturizing eye drops to supplement. I’ll go back in two weeks to ensure successful healing and confirm that I’m not having any significant side effects.
Here’s where it gets a little nutty.
After my appointment, I went to the Kroger pharmacy to fill my prescription. Guess how much these eye drops cost me with insurance….
How much did I save by having insurance?
If I hadn’t been covered by insurance, these eye drops would have cost me $87.39.
$87.39 for this?
Apparently, I’m a poor shot because I’ve accidentally wasted 2.5 drops already. 🙂 According to this article, there are approximately 100 drops in this small bottle of prescription eye drops. That means that each drop costs $.87. Two-and-a-half wasted drops is $2.18 down the drain.
Add that to the $110 it cost me to see the doctor (some portion of which I will be reimbursed by insurance, thank goodness) and that is a total of almost $200.00 that someone who is not insured would have had to pay out of pocket for an eye exam and to receive treatment for a simple eye infection. This does not account for the fact that I already owned fish oil pills (another $8-$10) and was given the supplemental moisturizing eye drops (another $5 or so for travel size) for free. Note: I’m not sure but I suspect the doctor visit would have cost less if I hadn’t also been there for a contacts/eyeglasses exam.
However, I still can’t get over the fact that somebody, somewhere, made the decision to charge uninsured consumers $87 for this tiny little bottle of seasonal allergy eyedrops.