I retired from the Veterans Administration. I was a Benefits Counselor and Field Examiner. I am embarrassed to say it took me years to discover what the VA was doing. I believe there may be thousands of veterans with insurance being overcharged for their prescription medications. I am asking you to help get the word out to veterans.
VA’s excessive co-pay charges
My wife and I take the same blood pressure medicine — Diltiazem. For a 90-day supply, hers — with our insurance (Blue Cross) — cost $4.14 at a retail pharmacy. In comparison, mine cost $24 (co-pay) at the VA Pharmacy.
I questioned why the difference in cost with billing. She did not mention any refund and insisted I had to pay the co-pay. She then said I could ask my doctor to write out my prescription and take to a retail pharmacy. I did, and four prescriptions cost me $8.35 for a 90-day supply. VA had been charging me $69 for these same four prescriptions. I asked Blue Cross and also VA billing to send me a statement of cost. For the year 2017, VA stated I had paid them $276.25 and “0” refund. Blue Cross stated my cost after their payment to VA should have only been $22.99.
The VA has Consolidated Patient Account Centers (CPAC). CPAC bills our insurance and also bills us veterans the co-pay. On the back of VA billing form 10-0246, it states, your insurance may “reduce or eliminate your co-payment.”
I asked CPAC for an audit. After months of delay, I was forced to ask Sen. Manchin to get me the audit. He did, and the audit went back to 1992 (25-plus years). I have gotten refunds totaling more than $1,000.
This letter is to alert other veterans, with insurance, to check on this issue. I have been working on this since 2018. I strongly believe there are many other veterans who have insurance that are unknowingly being overcharged and due a refund like myself.
John Jarrett Peters
5766 Hubbards Br.
Huntington WV 25704 Ph 304 429 2033