Prescription Drugs

Rely on drugs? Read the fine print

Over the next few weeks, thousands will select insurance plans for 2022, whether on a state exchange or through their employer. A health plan’s fine print hardly makes for riveting reading. So most folks just focus on the monthly premium, make sure their doctor is covered, and ensure cost-sharing responsibilities are manageable. But that fine print is important, especially when it comes to how insurers treat co-pay assistance, or financial help that drug companies offer to patients to assist them with prescription drug out-of-pocket costs. [This opinion piece also appeared in The Lebanon Democrat, The Leader/Observer, Forest Hills/Rego Park Times, Long Island City/Astoria/Jackson Heights Journal, Greenpoint Star, and Brooklyn Downtown Star.]

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We must make drugs more affordable: Patients going without meds can hike costs for the entire health care system

Falling ill in America is becoming increasingly unaffordable in a health care system that punishes the patient. Insurance companies and middlemen have taken away protections against health care discrimination and crushing out of pocket costs for people with complex and chronic conditions. Not only does this increase costs across the health care system, it also deters efforts to improve health equity and patient outcomes.

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California must join the 12 other states requiring insurers to count copay assistance

A health plan’s fine print hardly makes for riveting reading. So most folks just focus on the monthly premium, make sure their doctor is covered, and ensure cost-sharing responsibilities are manageable. But that fine print is important, especially when it comes to how insurers treat co-pay assistance — financial help that drug companies offer to patients to assist them with prescription drug out-of-pocket costs. Choosing a plan that doesn’t count co-pay assistance toward the deductible or out-of-pocket maximum could cost a person or family several thousand dollars per year in unexpected costs.

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How Washington can save patients money on prescription drugs right now

There’s no question that our healthcare system is broken. Where there is disagreement is in how to fix it. Current proposals being considered by the Congress do little to address the out-of-pocket spending requirements and insurance company access restrictions that impose the biggest burdens on patients. Failing to address these issues would be a huge missed opportunity.

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