Physicians United Plan failure creates serious medical concerns for patients

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Physicians United policy holders are having trouble getting their prescriptions.
 
This week the state liquidated the troubled insurance company whose liabilities far exceeded its assets. That has created some serious problems for many with medical conditions.
 
Gail Henderson-Johnson said she is a type 1 diabetic.
 
"If I don't get the medicine, I could die. I could literally die," said Johnson.
 
When a Walgreens pharmacist told her Physicians United wasn't covering her prescription she said she was terrified.
 
"I was running out of medication, so I asked the pharmacist how much it would cost for me to buy it. He said it would be about $300 more," she said.
 
She said that is money she doesn't have.
 
"I asked how much it would cost to buy one vial of insulin and he told me I couldn't buy one, I had to buy the whole pack," said Johnson.
 
Elsa Vega, also a Physicians United policy holder, said she couldn't get her medicine at Walgreens either.
 
"(The pharmacist) said she had a notation in her system that we were not allowed to refill prescriptions," said Vega.
 
Johnson called the insurance company and said she could not believe the response.
 
"I said, 'What must I do?' She said, 'If something happens just go to the emergency room,' like, uncaring," said Johnson. "I'm like, 'Oh, I'm supposed to be in a diabetic coma, to go to the emergency room.' I ran out and called my doctor. And my doctor, thank God, they gave me one vial."
 
Channel 9's Lori Brown told Walgreens officials about the problem patients like Johnson and Vega were having. She was told that the pharmacy is now working with patients to make sure they can get their medicine.
 
Physicians United Insurance is supposed to remain effective through the end of the month.
 
The centers for Medicare and Medicaid services will be contacting patients with information about how to select a new plan.