Prescription Drug Insurance
Many people have criticized the drug industry, the government, and the insurance industry as the focus has been on rising costs of health care. Yet the fact remains that prescription drugs account for the bulk of the cost increases. If you are fortunate enough to have access to prescription drug insurance through an employer sponsored or self-funded plan, rest assured you are in a better place than some.
Prescription drug insurance takes many forms. There is government paid and discounted prescription drug insurance plans, there are self-funded individual and group prescription drug insurance plans and there are employer sponsored plans. Only the largest employers can still afford the good prescription drug insurance plans. This is due to the discounted rates on premiums because of group purchasing, but many employers are finding themselves in need of sharing the rising costs with their employees.
Prescription drug insurance that is made available through work often comes as a package deal with health insurance. Typically, the plan covers both name brand and generic with a standard co-pay applied to each prescription. The co-pay is normally higher for name brand drugs. Though to some, a prescription drug insurance plan with a set co-pay is more than they could ever hope for, many insured individuals find that the plan provides little benefit to them. This is due in part to the fact that most working insured individuals only fill a handful of prescriptions each year and find the premiums they pay are more than their out of pocket expense might have been. Exceptions to this are large families with younger children and people with chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes.
Similarly, self-funded or discount prescription drug plans do not appeal to consumers who spend little on prescription drugs each year. It is those without coverage and who require prescription medication on a regular basis who are in need of a reasonable and affordable choice. It is estimated that at least half of non-senior working Americans are without prescription drug insurance. Government assistance is only available to those whose income is within certain poverty guidelines.
Prescription drug insurance premiums are not likely to fall in the near future, but if you can find a way to participate in group buying, you will be able to secure the best coverage and rates.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.