Based on early health insurance rate filings, consumers who choose the lower cost Bronze and Silver plans are likely to pay more for prescription drugs. If trends continue, consumers with prescription drug coverage can expect to pay an average of 34% more out-of-pocket for their prescriptions, according to a report by HealthPocket.
The good news is that drug coverage will be considered an essential health benefit in all health plans. The bad news is that out-of-pocket prescription costs are likely to rise substantially from the average annual per capita expenditure of $758.
“Americans are going to need to pay very, very close attention to what plans offer to minimize out-of-pocket increases for medications. When it comes to drug costs and changes in our newly reformed health care system, the fine print really matters,” said Kev Coleman, head of Research & Data at HealthPocket.
The analysis also finds that, in most cases, the higher-end Gold and Platinum plans have lower drug cost sharing. However, experts expect the less expensive Bronze and Silver plans with higher out-of- pocket drug costs to be the most popular for cost-conscious consumers. Coinsurance rates for higher cost medications, which are typically injected, will vary widely under each metal plan. For more information, visit www.HealthPocket.com.