Employee Benefits

3 Things to Know About Prescription Drug Plans and Benefits

Prescription Drug Plans/Benefits

Americans are frustrated with the cost of prescription medications. Last year they spent about $450 billion on generic and name-brand prescription drugs. The Centers for Disease Control reports that the United States expends the most of any country in the world on drugs, which accounts for about 17 percent of total health care spending. Here are three things to know about prescription drug benefits:

  1. Unused benefits

    Many employees have prescription drug benefits through their medical insurance plans, but often they cannot use the coverage. Due to increased health care costs, thousands of employers have switched to high-deductible health plans. This means employees pay more out of pocket before receiving benefits for prescription drug costs.

  1. Unfilled prescriptions

    The National Center for Health Statistics reports that many adults choose to save money by not filling prescriptions or following medication directions:

      • 8 percent do not take drugs as directed
      • Percentage that do not fill prescriptions:
          • 6 percent of adults with prescription insurance
          • 10 percent of those with Medicaid coverage
          • 14 percent of individuals with no prescription benefit
  1. Prescription savings

    Even if members have prescription coverage through their medical insurance, they may want to explore what other savings they can get through other programs. The Elixir value-added savings benefit makes it possible for people to afford the prescription medications they need. This benefit can be used at 60,000 pharmacies across the country, such as CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens or Walmart. Members receive up to 65 percent savings on generic prescriptions, and an overall savings of 40 percent across brand-name and generic prescriptions combined. Individuals can find a pharmacy near them and look up prescription pricing in their area. Use this ID card to save on prescription medications.

Learn more about Ameritas group dental, vision and hearing care plans.