Sunday, October 24, 2004

Rising fees eclipse prescription needs

Tanya Batte, a diabetic, switched to cheaper test strips to check her blood-glucose levels because of rising prescription expenses.
Two years ago, when she lived in California, Tanya Batte, program and training manager for the nonprofit group Center for Peace Education, counted on monthly prescription costs of $5 because she belonged to a health maintenance organization.

Today, she says, it's another story altogether. "Well over $100 a month," Batte said. "If you don't have insurance on your job, you can't make it these days."

In some cases, even with an employer-sponsored plan, the expense of doctor-office visits, prescription medicines and other needs have rocketed. Batte, a diabetic who buys test strips for her condition, is no longer able to afford her meter of choice.

"It's just too expensive," Batte says. "So I've found another meter with cheaper strips.

"You just can't make it these days and expect to raise a family. I don't know how people do it."

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