Competition in the drug market doesn’t stop drug prices from rising, but instead seems to encourage it. In a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal, Jonathon Rockoff comments on the alarming health care trend, stating:
“For years, Pfizer and Lilly have taken increases on their erectile-dysfunction drugs within weeks of each other—sometimes even on the same day—keeping the list price of each pill within a few dollars.”
Many other companies also raise prices almost in lockstep of each other, only increasing the severity of a controversial problem within the drug industry.
With these rising prices, many patients cannot afford the expensive drug they need. However, most people often stay with the drug they know works without looking into cheaper options. This results in the employer covering the majority of the costs after the deductible is met by an employee.
Drug companies should not be rewarded for increasing their prices on drugs. It is time for employers to push back on these rising prices and find practical solutions that still meet their employee’s needs.
Read the article, Drugmakers Find Competition Doesn’t Keep a Lid on Prices, from the Wall Street Journal for more information.
Many companies opt for a fully insured health care plan because it is hands free after purchasing. It becomes a transactional purchase versus a long term investment of self-funding that can align with your company’s goals.
With a self-funded plan, there are several benefits including increased financial control, lower costs, and greater flexibility. Although your company still pays a flat rate for fixed costs, claims acquired by employees are paid on a month by month basis. This allows for the employer to review each individual claim billed during any given month to constantly improve the plan to meet the company’s needs.
This provides a more hands-on approach to the health care plan that your company provides its employees. With this being said, a self-funded plan also includes the benefit of effective cost and information management, as well as unlimited access to the health plan information.
Even though these plans provide a significant amount of benefits, they do add more risk when a catastrophic claim is processed. However, this situation can be mitigated through the purchase of stop-loss insurance, which simply puts a cap on the maximum amount a company can spend. The job of a risk manager is to ensure that the total claims at the end of the year is lower than the expected claims. This will result in major savings for the plan the following year.
Although there are many pros and cons to both fully insured and self-funded health care options, the flexibility and cost management provided with self-funded is hard to ignore. The benefits provided can be customized to meet your employees needs and company’s objectives.
Self-funded health care plans is the coverage of the future. It helps your company attract and retain the best employees by providing them with a plan that is tailored to them.
It’s time to find a better health care alternative.
Dave Chase and Craig Lack recently co-wrote an article discussing the trends of the cable and newspaper industry and how similar trends are expected in the future of healthcare. Properly title, “If You Want to See the Future of Healthcare, Watch the Cable Industry and What Happened to Newspapers”, they wrote:
“The healthcare buyers of today and tomorrow don’t appreciate the tricks the healthcare industry has played to extract more money than is justified . . . Enrollment in prepaid fully insured health plans is dropping precipitously as employers learn about the advantages of self-funded pricing, taxes and cost of claims.”
Although the fully insured option provides a lot of health care services, most employees rarely use all the options available. Resulting in you paying for extra coverage and services that may never be used.
So why pay for more than you need? With self-funded health care you have access to all the options available if you want them. However, you don’t have to worry about paying for the extras you don’t use.
Read the full article, If You Want To See The Future of Healthcare, Watch The Cable Industry and What Happened To Newspapers, for a unique perspective on the future of the health care industry.
Have you stopped to thank a nurse recently?
As the nation’s fifth largest occupation, nurses make up an essential component of the health care system. Nursing requires a lot of behind the scenes work that is often not openly recognized, making it a very thankless job.
However, this does not mean that nurses go unappreciated. Hospitals and employers understand their importance and are offering high wages for qualified personnel. Additionally, many nurses are receiving large sign-on bonuses for as little as one year experience.
It is best said by Donna Wilk Cardillo: “Nurses are the heart of healthcare.”
Read the article, Nurses Are Again in Demand, from the Wall Street Journal to learn more about the current shortage of nurses across the nation. And make sure you thank a nurse the next time you get the chance.
Some drugs on the market today are simply a combination of two or more active ingredients that can be found in separate generic drugs for a fraction of the price. These combination drugs, as well as many others, can be extremely costly, resulting in employees unable to afford the medicine they need without “discounts”.
These behind-the-scene discounts result in employees only paying a fraction of the list price of a drug. However, if an employee pays a reduced price for a prescription, the money ultimately has to come from somewhere, typically falling on the employer.
In a recent article written by Denise Roland, he writes:
“Pernicious and others said they issued coupons to keep patient copays low in some cases. Even so, patients likely will end up paying for it indirectly. “Premiums go up, or it’s passed on to employers,” said Michael Rea, chief executive of Rx Savings Solutions, . . .“It all comes out of the same bucket.”’
The pharmacy system can be confusing to navigate. Like any important decision in life, finding the best employer sponsored benefit plan for your company requires extensive research to find the best option available to fit your unique needs.
There are companies out there that specialize in getting the best for the lowest cost. If you were buying a house, you would want a realtor’s help if you were not familiar with the industry the same should go for your employee benefit plan.
Read the article, Drugmakers Turn Cheap Generics into Expensive Pills, from the Wall Street Journal for more information.