Insurance plans place all medications for some conditions in high-price tier

Filed Under: Costs

Summary: Extending insurance coverage to all, even those with serious or pre-existing conditions, was one of the promises of the Affordable Care Act. And yet conditions including high coinsurance and high co-pays have put treatment out of reach for insured people. Here’s a new analysis from Avalere Health saying that some insurance plans “place all […]

How managed care prescription pricing has worked to raise costs

Filed Under: Health plans, Patients

Summary: “The Center for Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) at the University of Michigan reports that until 2002, most people with employer-sponsored insurance that included prescription drug coverage were in plans with one or two formulary tiers. As of last year, nearly 25% of insured people were in plans with four or five tiers, and the […]

How to shop smart for medications: A simple binder method

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

This post about how to buy medications thoughtfully as a smart consumer appeared on one of my online groups. I thought it was so wise that I asked the author if I could post it here, and she agreed. The writer is Moyra Phillips, Huntsville, Ala., who identifies herself as “a wife, mother, grandmother.” The […]

Guest post: How to apply for help in paying for expensive drugs

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Samuel Rulon-Miller manages the blog the NeedyMeds Voice, part of NeedyMeds.org, a Massachusetts nonprofit with resources for people seeking help with the cost of medicine. Launched in January of 2013, the NeedyMeds Voice focuses on presenting readers with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. This […]

Buying medications online: Checking pharmacy credentials

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Buying medications online: Checking pharmacy credentials

(Updated 2022) More and more people are buying medications online. Residents of Maine are able to buy medications online from Canadian pharmacies legally again, after a period in which such sales were illegal. Maine residents are celebrating; Canadian drug prices are much lower than American ones. Other Americans might well be envious of Maine residents. It’s hard […]

How much does that Lipitor cost? A new site for prescription prices

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

New entry in the prescription drug comparison-shopping market: prescriptionbluebook.com. The front page says: “We provide the wholesale cost (the price pharmacies pay) on your prescription medications. A yearly subscription to PrescriptionBlueBook.com reveals the wholesale cost on thousands of brand name and generic drugs for you, your family and even your pets! “PrescriptionBlueBook.com also provides the […]

Drug discount cards: Lifting the veil of secrecy (guest post)

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

This piece is reposted with permission from Costs of Care, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Boston, which has as its mission expanding the national discourse on the role of doctors, nurses, and other care providers in health care spending, while empowering providers with the information they need to deflate medical bills on a grassroots level. * […]