Spending on prescription drugs by employerscontinues to rise sharply. At the same time, employer plans arerequiring greater cost-sharing on the part of employees, thusreducing the impact on employers to a degree.

A wide-ranging study by Buck Consultants reviewed an array ofdrug-related insurance issues. When the focus turned to costs andcost control, the trend was clear: Employersare shelling out more for prescription drugs, but they're requiringplan participants to pay more upfront in premium contributions andmore downstream in higher co-pays.

For instance, respondents were given the option to select fromvarious ranges of participation contribution and cost-sharing. Thelargest segment — 29 percent — said their participants contributed21 percent to 25 percent in 2014. Last year, the largest segmentidentified the range as 16 percent to 20 percent.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.