SUMMARY: “Americans with chronic illnesses—who are expected to be among the biggest beneficiaries of the health law—face widely varying out-of-pocket drug costs that could be obscured on the new insurance exchanges.”
There is a lot of great detail in this Melinda Beck piece from the Wall Street Journal about how drug co-pays will work going forward. Pro tip: Don’t blame the Affordable Care Act.
“Under the law, patients can’t be denied coverage due to existing conditions or charged higher rates than healthier peers. The law also sets an annual out-of-pocket maximum of up to $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families, after which insurers pay the full tab.
“But depending on the coverage they select, some patients on expensive drug regimens could reach that level fast. Some medications for conditions including hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV and cancer can retail for thousands of dollars a month, and some plans require patients to pay as much as 50% of the cost.