10 Ways to Simplify Employee Benefits: Strategy #8 – Leveraging Generic Drug Programs
15th June 2011 · 0 Comments
You probably know that most health insurance plans include some kind of financial break on prescription drugs for the plan holder, usually in the form of a copay on generic drugs. But did you know that now you and your employees can get an even better deal — without any health coverage at all?
Many of the nation’s leading pharmacy and discount-store chains have now rolled out their own plans on generic drugs, most of which cost shoppers as little as $4 to $6 for a month’s supply. These discount plans include the HEB Rx Rewards Platinum, CVS Pharmacy Health Savings Pass and Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. Everyday discount stores such as Target and Wal-Mart have also concocted their own plans as well. The most astonishing benefit of these plans, however, maybe the fact that they operate independently of, or as an alternative to, health insurance co-pays.
This option may cause you and your employees to re-think how you fill your generic prescriptions. Workers paying for medications through an HSA-type plan, for example, have to pay the full retail cost of generics, while copays in general continue to rise in price. That $5 you used to shell out for a month’s supply of allergy meds may be costing you a copay of up to $20 today.
In contrast, these generic drug programs typically carry anywhere from 300 to 500 popular generics, so chances are they can give you what you need at a fraction of what you’re used to paying. In fact, you’ll actually want to avoid showing your insurance card or filing insurance claims in favor of these cheaper alternatives.
Keep using your health plan for your brand-name drugs, but let your employees know how they can get cheaper generics at their own neighborhood store!