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Prescription drug plans

Rx costs are rising faster than most other health case costs

revised 11/5/2015

Prescription drug costs are among the fastest rising component of health care expenses. Until recently these expenses were covered under major medical insurance policies. Now almost all public and commercial health plans cover prescription drugs under separate provisions that typically include both an insurance feature and a discount pricing feature. Some also use mail-in pharmacy provisions.

Prescription drugs are typically grouped into four classifications based on cost for health plan purposes. There are called "tiers". Tier 1 represents the lowest cost drugs that whose availability is not dependent on health insurance (a sample formulary can be found on Wal-Mart's pharmacy)The cost in this example is $4 per month or $10 for 90 days. At the other extreme, Tier 4 represents the most expensive drugs that most individuals could not afford without health insurance. In the middle, Tier 2 and Tier 3 drugs are typically available with a co-payment by the health plan member that may range from $10 to $50.

All of the individual major medical insurance plans listed on the Rx Pay Card. This plan uses the four tier pricing plan described above combining insurance with a discount pricing plan.

Discount prescription drug plans - that are not insurance plans - are widely used today. The most popular commercial plans are available through Careington International. A free discount drug card called Drug Card America is also available. Other discount plans cover more than drugs; extending the discounts to doctor and hospital charges.

The consumer price differences between a free and purchased discount drug card is difficult to quantify but there is definitely a difference in the quality and availability of member support. Careington tends to offer exceptional live member support whereas live support is typically not available for a free discount drug plan.


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This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.