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Human resources need to stay on top of prescription plan changes

Posted on December 13th, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

One of the primary responsibilities of HR administration is to ensure employees are aware of health benefits, and to remain up to date on current pharmaceutical policies and requirements, HRE Online reports.

In the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute's recently released 2011-2012 Prescription Drug Benefit Cost and Plan Design Report, trends and changes in prescription management were addressed.

Some findings included the 37 percent rise in co-pays for specialty medications, more plans offering greater co-pay discounts for mail-order prescriptions and the fact that cost sharing has become more complex.

Furthermore, employers are increasing their focus on generics over brand-name drugs, with many shifting to two-tiered or three-tiered prescription plans that follow the purchasing cycle of generic, preferred brand and non-preferred brand.

"Unless employers are well equipped to understand their full financial exposure that overlays both the medical benefit and pharmacy benefit, they are really going to miss a big opportunity from a management perspective, especially in the long term," said Nadina Rosier, practice leader of New York-based Towers Watson's North America health and group benefits practice, as quoted by HRE Online.  

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