asking for lower-cost alternatives or samples. cutting pills in half. reducing the recommended frequency. skipping the medication altogether. these are the actions people take to manage their increased ownership and the increased cost of prescription drugs.
according to the 2014 employer benefits trend study from kaiser, the majority of covered workers are in a plan with three or more tiers of cost-sharing. among these workers, here’s how the average copayment breaks down:
- $11 for first-tier drugs
- $31 for second-tier drugs
- $53 for third-tier drugs
- $83 for fourth-tier drugs
for employees responsible for coinsurance and not a copayment, it looks like this:
- 19% for first-tier drugs
- 24% for second-tier drugs
- 37% for third-tier drugs
- 29% for fourth-tier drugs
now take those figures and multiply by two, because over 50% of americans take two prescription drugs. or multiply it by five. twenty percent of americans take five or more prescription drugs.
that’s a high-ticket item causing high levels of stress and financial finagling. and that’s why we focused on prescription drugs in our second show in our series on financial well-being. our guest was dough hirsch, co-CEO of goodRX.
goodRx does not sell drugs, but it does exist to make it easier and more cost-effective for consumers to buy them. goodRX is a price-comparison tool that directs consumers to the cheapest, closest pharmacy for the prescriptions they need. if they take more than one, goodRX directs them to the pharmacy with the best deal on the combined cost. plug in the drug name, plug in the zip code. goodRX combs its database and plays back the options. it’s fast, it’s transparent.
initially started as a consumer tool, goodRX continued to hear from employees who wished their employer offered the service as a benefit. they also started hearing from employers. so recently, goodRX responded with an enterprise version.
find out more. listen to our 30-minute conversation on this month’s cohealth checkup.