Managing Your Medications Including your spend

Managing Your Medications Including your spend

Commercials for the latest and greatest prescription drugs flood our TV sets 24 /7.  While the ads do a decent job of disclosing potential benefits and risks, they don’t do just for the accompanying price tag.

Within the last decade, consumers across the country have experienced double digit increases in their copays, with no end in sight.  While carriers have implemented cost management provisions within their insurance plans, manufacturers continue to spend millions of dollars on the development of new drugs.

This trickle-down effect on the patients’ wallets leaves consumers feeling overwhelmed and confused.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, and understanding your plan is the first step.  Private health insurance carriers offer a variety of tools and educational materials to ensure you are receiving the proper medication, at the most affordable cost.

Here are three helpful tips.

Stretch your dollars

Slashing your copays is possible!  While not all medications are eligible for a 90-day fill, several maintenance medications are, and oftentimes your plan will allow you to receive one month’s supply for free!

These types of medications typically are given to members on a regular basis, and the member is expected to take these pills long-term.  Examples of conditions include those associated with thyroid, blood pressure, and cholesterol.  Verify whether your plan allows you to fill a 90-day supply at the cost of a 30 or 60-day supply.

Compare prices

Several pharmacies – both chains and mom and pop stores – may carry your medications, but the cost varies. Use the carrier websites and Internet to compare prices. In addition, mobile apps may be able to produce coupons or discounts that help reduce the amount you may for certain medications.

Ask questions

If your provider recommends that you take a certain prescription, continue the conversation, and ask questions!

Why did you recommend this drug? What are the side effects? What is the generic equivalent? Understanding the full picture, including the physician’s motivation (i.e. safe integration with drugs you are already taking) for prescribing that particular drug will help ensure that you are obtaining the best medication to meet your particular needs.

For a comprehensive overview of your pharmacy coverage and cost containment tools, visit your carrier’s website or contact your insurance representative.


Meet the Author

Matt Cole

Matt Cole brings a wealth of experience and knowledge within the Health and Benefits industry.  He was most recently the Manager of New Business Sales and Growth for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and also served in a variety of roles within Aon Hewitt – one of the nation’s largest Health and Welfare consulting practices. Matt focuses on market trends, carrier contracting, network and product evolution, and optimization of benefit plans.  He specializes in working with customers to create and identify long-term strategies  that are both competitive and comprehensive by design.

mcole@miplanners.com

 

About the Author

×