A single dose of the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam the generic version of Ativan will run you about 14 cents at Safeway or Target.
At Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, the same pill goes for nearly $2,000.
At least that’s the impression Laurie Leigh came away with after being so overcome with grief when her 90-year-old father died at the hospital that she fainted at his bedside. She subsequently received a pill to soothe her nerves.
Leigh’s insurer, Blue Shield of California, covered about $200 of the bill, leaving her holding the bag for more than $1,700.
Of course, this doesn’t mean they charged her two grand for an Ativan; they also took her blood pressure and set her in a vacant bed in the ER for about an hour and a half. The tablet itself was a hair under $20. Still, you can buy thirty of them at Walmart for four bucks.
For the record, CFI Care not its real initials would have paid about $1360 had this happened to me, had I reached my annual deductible, which I think I’ve done twice in the last quarter-century.