Insurers Lower Cost-Sharing for Preventive Drugs

Some major health insurers, including Aetna, WellPoint and Humana, have reduced patient cost-sharing for preventive drugs out of a growing realization that lowering cost-sharing increases patient compliance with drug therapies, improving outcomes and cutting the total cost of care.

Some major health insurers, including Aetna, WellPoint and Humana, have reduced patient cost-sharing for preventive drugs out of a growing realization that lowering cost-sharing increases patient compliance with drug therapies, improving outcomes and cutting the total cost of care.

This is partly the result of the federal healthcare reform law's requirement for first-dollar coverage of recommended preventive services. But it's also related to the growth of consumer-directed health plans with high deductibles. Payers have recognized that covering preventive drugs and other proven medical services below the deductible can make sense from a cost and quality perspective.

Some payers have reduced cost-sharing—including waiving deductibles and reducing or eliminating copayments and coinsurance—for drugs used for primary prevention, such as statins prescribed for patients with high blood cholesterol and lipids who have never had a heart attack. Others such as Aetna have gone further and reduced or waived cost-sharing for drugs used for secondary prevention, such as statins for patients who already have had a heart attack to reduce the chance of a reoccurrence.

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Source: Modern Healthcare