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Pharmacist holding prescription Improving access to high-value drugs (and making them more affordable) can have a significant impact on health care costs. (Photo; Shutterstock)

Your doctor always told you that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – and it seems it is very true. A new study published in Health Affairs shows that spending on employee health insurance today can lead to significant cost savings down the road. So-called Value-based Insurance Design (VBID) is a strategy that reduces cost sharing for high-value services and increases consumers’ out-of-pocket spending for low-value care.

Essentially, getting patients to take medication that can help prevent long-term health issues is difficult. Costs can be too high and/or it’s harder to get people to get into the habit of prevention. However, the study shows that a VBID strategy can change the behavior by charging less for medicines that help the most. In some cases the medicines are made free to patients with certain conditions.

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