Employers Lowering Coverage For Prescription Drugs

Compiled By Tonya Vinas A recent survey shows that employers are more often asking employees to pay more for their prescription drugs. Data for the survey was collected and analyzed by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute of Tempe, Ariz., and the survey was sponsored Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc. The findings were based on responses from 461 U.S. employers representing more than 11 million beneficiaries. Key findings of the study include:

  • Cost sharing is rising. Co-payments increased in both mail and retail categories, with co-payments for certain drugs being higher. In 2000, fewer than 20% of those surveyed had co-payments of $16 or higher, but that increased to 44% in 2001.
  • Single deductibles are up 50%, to $75.50 compared with $52.69 in 2000.
  • Generic drug use is increasing. About 96% of employers impose penalties for using brand-named drugs.
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