Sunday, October 24, 2004

Rising fees eclipse prescription needs



[photo]
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."




SPECIAL REPORT: HEALTH INSURANCE
Tailored plans a high-fee stopgap
Workers bracing for insurance shock
Exec's tough call: Covering his family
Doing what's right loses out to costs
Rising fees eclipse prescription needs
Family does without, praying they'll get by
Subsidized coverage key, Springer says

ELECTION 2004
Ohio:
Campaign foot soldiers work to get out the vote
Appeals court decision: Vote in your precinct
GOP drops voter challenges
Integrity Hall has hosted many campaigners
Election boards prepare for it all as vote day nears
Campaign calendar
Kentucky:
Clooney's Kentucky roots, fame vs. Davis' business background
Some candidates want voters to split ticket
Mall key issue in city race
Three-way race for judge divides county
Open letter latest attack on Yoder
Poll: Bunning lead shrinking

Election 2004 page

TOP STORIES
Men defy stereotype, find joy in teaching
Thousands help better our region
Queen City's grand old flag best in Ohio; Louisville is tops in Ky.

IN THE TRISTATE
Krohn shows off after $3M remodeling
Tutor needed to grasp school funding?
Forum on public records law Wednesday
Would smoking ban singe business?
Public safety

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Crowley: No accounting for missteps in Senate race
Bronson: I keep getting telephone calls from nut jobs
Good Things Happening

LIVES REMEMBERED
Helyn Mae Hehl's strength inspired
Letitia O'Neil studied integration

KENTUCKY STORIES
Newport's 150 years of firefighting
Northern Kentucky News in Brief
'Warmth' shelter seeks money
Mustang kicks up its heels