Senate Report Examines Exploding Drug Prices

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Recent headlines on the exploding cost of prescription drugs have not gone unnoticed by Washington D.C. lawmakers.  The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging has issued a 130 page report examining the cost increases to previously affordable drugs that were acquired by pharmaceutical companies off patent.

Traditionally, the prescription drug industry recouped the cost of research and development by holding a new drug’s patent and being the sole manufacturer for a period of years before generic production was allowed ...

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Drug Costs Continue To Rise

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Although the rate at which overall health costs are rising is historically low, employers, experts, and politicians are expressing alarm at the rising cost of prescription drugs. According to a recent Aon analysis, the average health care rate increase for mid-size and large companies in 2015 was 3.2%. Prescription drug costs, however, jumped by 10% last year according to a report by Truveris that was publicized by the Business Health Care Group.

In general, hospital expenses account ...

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Focus on Specialty Drug Costs

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The price of prescription drugs has been a well-known issue for decades. In recent months, however, the price of specialty drugs in particular has received increased attention on social media and from the mainstream media and candidates for President. Much of this attention focused on Turing Pharmaceuticals’ 5,000% price increase for Daraprim last month, but the cost of specialty drugs has been trending upwards for years.

According to Business Insurance magazine, group health plans’ specialty drug costs ...

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More Employers Covering Maintenance Meds at 100%

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More employers are treating maintenance medications, like those treating cholesterol or blood pressure, as a preventative prescription which is eligible for 100% coverage in high deductible health plans.  Typically, these prescriptions would be subject to the individual or family deductible, and the consumer would pay the entire cost of the medications until the deductible is met.  However, IRS 223(c), exempts preventative health care and prescriptions from the deductible in a high deductible health plan.  This lack of clarity regarding the definition of a ...

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The Lesser Known Problem with Subsidies

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Generally called “subsidies”, there are actually two different subsidies available to consumers depending on their income level within the Affordable Care Act’s public exchange.  Premium assistance tax credits and cost-sharing reductions.  Cost-sharing reductions are available to help consumers with the out of pocket expenses for treatment or services.  There is a wide range of how different insurance plans pass these cost-sharing subsidies onto the consumer.  Most plans choose to lower deductibles or out of pocket maximums.

An analysis by Avalere Health ...

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