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    These new infrequent or no INR/Protime medications like Eliquis and Pradaxa are pretty expensive if you have to pay out of pocket. If you have Medicare Part D these drugs, are usually tier 3 and 4 medications, which means you have to meet a deductible to get any coverage (in my case, $405.00 per year) and then pay a copay of a percentage of the negotiated price or if the drug is less than the negotiated price, you pay the lesser amount.

    Warfarin and Coumadin are usually tier 1 drugs on Medicare Part D plans and therefore you don't have to meet a deductible and there is no copay. Yes, you have to test regularly (once a week or twice a month), but Medicare does pay for weekly testing at home with a finger prick test. I test with a CoaguChek XS meter through Alere. Alere sends supplies (paid for by Medicare) to my home. I report the INR (international normalized ratio) result to Alere, they send the results to my doctor and he monitors and adjusts dosage if necessary. I guess Medicare has done the cost analysis and finds that paying for weekly testing is cheaper than covering these more expensive medications.

    Testing weekly at home has become as routine as brushing my teeth.


      Whoops! Sorry, y’all - I stopped keeping up with this longer ago than I realized!