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What We're Reading: Employer Insurance; Drugstore Clawbacks; Opioid State of Emergency

AJMC Staff

Employers Newly Committed to Offering Insurance

Just 3 years ago, large employers were considering no longer offering insurance and instead shifting their employees to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s marketplaces. However, employers have since changed direction, with companies newly committed to maintaining insurance coverage, reported Kaiser Health News. This year, 92% of employers in a survey said they were very confident they would be offering health plans in 5 years, compared with just 25% back in 2014. The uncertainty of the ACA isn’t the only reason for the change of heart—the strong economy means employers are offering insurance as a way to get the best workers.

 

CVS Sued Over Drug Costs

A California woman is accusing CVS of charging customers paying through insurance more money for prescription drugs than the medicines actually cost. According to Bloomberg, the plaintiff said she once paid $166 for a generic drug that would have only cost $92 if she had paid in cash. CVS denies any wrongdoing and explained that the copays are determined by pharmacy benefit managers. There are at least 16 other lawsuits targeting drugstores for these copay “clawback” practices, or situations when patients pay a copay that exceeds the actual cash value of the drug.

 

Declaring a State of Emergency

The president’s opioid panel recommended declaring the opioid epidemic a state of emergency, but President Donald Trump has declined to do so. STAT explains that it was unclear what declaring a state of emergency for the country might have meant. There are examples in the states, however, where the move has allowed officials to expand use of naloxone or implement new prescription monitoring guidelines. A declaration of a national emergency might mean little more than “stirring officials to act with authorities they already have.”

 
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