Do you have additional ideas or comments on how to avoid single errand trips?

Here is another one that just came up – renewing prescriptions. If you don’t call in refills at least a few days in advance, you may have to make a special trip, possibly preceded by an urgent call to the doctor for authorization. If you are out of town, run out on a weekend and/or the doctor is unavailable, you may also have to go through an awkward process to just get a few days worth – possibly at a high cost.

My friend Maureen generally avoids this problem by planning ahead and taking full advantage of the systems available. Last year she overheard a woman say she got three months worth of medication at a time.  A Kaiser member, Maureen asked her doctor if her thyroid medication was eligible for a 90 day prescription. It was.  Now, every three months, she orders and pays on line and has it delivered via the US Mail. She also signed up for email reminders and can email her doctor for authorizations.

This system saves time and money and minimizes stress – as long as you pay attention. Last summer while preparing for a long road trip, Maureen forgot to reorder – until the day before departure. So, while her fellow travelers kindly waited in the parking lot, she stood in line in the pharmacy. Fortunately the pharmacy team members were kind; in 20 minutes the travelers were on their way.

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