Providing a Different Kind of COVID Relief

This time last year, when most Americans were simply fighting to find toilet paper, Michael Reagan was fighting for his life.

He woke up one morning coughing blood. Breathing became increasingly difficult. Too difficult for many of the patients who didn’t make it out of the makeshift COVID ward where he languished in a New York City hospital.

“I really didn’t think I was going to live,” Michael told us.

He managed to survive seven harrowing weeks in and out of hospitals at ground zero of the U.S. outbreak. His life and health would be normal again soon. Or so he thought.

Click on the video for his incredible story:

Help for the Long Haul

One year later, Michael is still battling “long COVID” symptoms worse than he experienced during his initial infection. Weeks are filled with doctor appointments. And his cabinet is full of more prescriptions than he can count.

To keep his heart from pounding at 200 BPM—even at rest—requires a $300 drug. Just to breathe, there are $800 worth of inhalers. To keep his immune system from killing him, he needs a $2,000 antiviral. (All prices are per fill.)

Until January 2021, Michael paid little or no copay for any of them. His deductible for 2020 had been met early on due to all the medical bills. When it reset in January, he faced paying full price for every fill, out of pocket. Luckily, his nurse care coordinator told him about Rx Savings Solutions.

We were able to find lower-cost options, quickly work with his doctors and pharmacies, and reduce his pharmacy bill by $2,000 in January alone.

“Some of these costs just blow your mind. I kind of freaked out,” Michael said. “I have so many different doctor appointments and tests, so much I have to navigate by myself. It was such a tremendous help to have someone say, ‘We got this covered for you.’ The person I spoke with (in Rx Savings Pharmacy Support) was so polite, professional, punctual, and going all out for me. I live in New York City. I’m not used to that.”

More to Michael’s Story

Some additional context and compelling takeaways:

  • He had no underlying health conditions prior to March 2020.
  • He used to run half-marathons and bike hundreds of miles per year before COVID. Now he struggles to walk a single block.
  • Having been healthy all his life, he knew next to nothing about all the available health benefits from his employer.
  • He earned a very good income before going on medical leave; now it’s a fraction. “I would not be alive if I couldn’t afford these medications,” he said. “How does anyone without resources handle something like this? What do they do?”
  • With all his ongoing medical care, it won’t take Michael long to meet his 2021 deductible. When he does, the substantial savings he secured for himself will be realized by his employer—for as long as he still needs the medications.

Everyone at Rx Savings Solutions hopes that isn’t much longer. We’re all inspired by Michael’s story, and a few of us have gotten to know him over the past 2 months. He shared the following during a recent phone visit:

“As I’ve gone through all of this, I have realized the reason I’m still alive is so I can be an advocate for people who don’t have a voice,” he said. “Having people like Rx Savings looking out for my best interests, making sure I know about other options, takes a lot of stress off of me. It’s like having a second set of eyes making sure I am taken care of and not taken advantage of.

I tell my colleagues to take advantage of this amazing resource whether you’re sick or not. It’s available. It takes no time at all. And it’s probably been the best experience I’ve had throughout this entire illness.”

Helping patients like Michael is why Rx Savings Solutions exists. Hear what it means to Michael and other members in their own words:

Michael Reagan, an Rx Savings Solutions member