Are Drugs Cheaper Using Cash?

The concept of paid medicine with pills on a money background

This past weekend, a far-reaching exposé was published by the New York Times and ProPublica highlighting how, in many instances, individual members can save money paying cash when compared to using their insurance for their generic prescriptions. While this is not a new issue, the investigation reviewed the top one hundred prescribed medications, finding that 40% of the time… [Read More]

Comparing Discounts in a Self-Insured Arrangement

Comparing Discounts in a Self-Insured Arrangement

In a self-insured plan, where 85% or more of cost is the actual payments made for medical claims, one of the most important factors to consider is the network; which one will provide the best access and which will yield the best provider discounts. Let’s start with access: which network most closely aligns with the providers your employees and… [Read More]

Fighting Pharmacy Inflation

Fighting Pharmacy Inflation

There is an inherent battle between employers and their pharmacy benefit managers. Simply put, PBMs get paid on the volume of drugs dispensed and have little incentive to control utilization of expensive medication. Even worse, drug rebate allocations skew incentives even more when PBMs or health plans use rebate sharing to enhance profits. Consider this:… [Read More]

Pharmacy Shenanigans

Prescription Drug Cost

In evaluating the cost of a medical benefits program, prescription drug costs and in particular, specialty drugs, stand out as the fastest growing and the most difficult to manage cost. As I review programs with clients, I find myself often pointing out that pharmacy is where all the profits are hidden. This has been no… [Read More]