Brace yourself for soaring drug spending costs—and feel free toblame Obamacare.

|

A HealthPocket study finds that copayments and co-insurance feesfor drugs increased an average of 34 percent under the PatientProtection and Affordable Care Act. And enrollees who usebrand-name drugs and specialty drugs are getting hit much harderwith rising costs.

|

That was the finding after researchers examined new PPACA healthplans from 46 states and compared the prices to those from thepre-PPACA individual insurance market.

|

According to HealthPocket, a company that provides health plancomparisons to consumers, all of the four new health plancategories under the law saw drug cost-sharing increases. Bronzehealth insurance plans saw the highest increase, 58 percent, whileplatinum health insurance plans had the lowest increase, 15percent.

|

Researchers broke down the price differences pre- andpost-reform by drug category, and there are some discrepancies. Forexample, generic drug copays increased 42 percent in a bronze plan,but decreased by 36 percent for enrollees in a platinum plan.

|

But increases were seen in all PPACA plan levels for genericdrug co-insurance fees and specialty drug copays. In fact,specialty copays were huge across the board: The average pricepre-reform ($58.46) increased a whopping 226 percent for a bronzeplan, 185 percent for a silver plan, 170 percent for a gold planand 116 percent for a platinum plan.

|

But researchers still made sure to note that the law has beensomewhat beneficial to the prescription drug market.

|

“The legislation created an expansion of the drug benefit forthe individual market and small group market inasmuch as allnon-grandfathered health plans must include a prescription drugbenefit,” HealthPocket's report read. “Subsidies on healthinsurance premiums also result in some portion of the previouslyuninsured being able to enroll in a health plan containing a drugbenefit. Additionally, a few over-the-counter drugs such asaspirin, folic acid, and iron supplements can be obtained without acopayment when used as preventive medicine.”

|

Finally, enrollees who use drugs infrequently “may not noticethe cost-sharing increases,” it said.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.