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Ross: Go to Mexico and collect $500

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

As the refugees in that caravan make their way north in search of a better life, the State of Utah hopes to send its employees south, also in search of a better life.

Back in March, Utah passed The Health Insurance Right To Shop bill to encourage employees to shop around for their medications. Which is why state benefit managers are now doing all they can to persuade state employees with expensive illnesses to get their medications in Mexico. Providers such as PEHP have come up with a plan.

“We get a discount of 40-60 percent by going to Mexico,” said Travis Tolley, PEHP clinical operations director.

For example, a month’s supply of the Multiple Sclerosis treatment Tecfidera, costs about $5,300 in the US. In Mexico, it’s $2,500.

So it’s far cheaper for Utah to tell patients to pack their bags and head south of the border. And just to make it well worth their while, they will pay you $500.

“We are not only are going to pay for your flight, have a private car service come pick you up and take you to the hospital where you receive the drug, then bring you back, then in addition to that we are going to give you $500,” said Chet Loftis, also with PEHP.

That’s 500 dollars! They pay you to go! And yet, so far, no state employee has actually agreed to take the trip. But I have an idea – organize a caravan! A caravan of American medical refugees. I have a feeling they would be warmly welcomed.

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