The ever-rising cost of healthcare, particularly the hefty price tag associated with prescription drugs, has become a nationwide platitude. Both companies and employees alike in this country have almost come to accept rising prices as an inevitable feature of a healthcare system too obtuse and too opaque to fully comprehend, let alone master.
One key strategy to controlling prescription drug benefit costs is to outsource to a specialist, or a pharmacy benefits manager. These individuals are typically industry insiders with expert knowledge of the pharma industry and health systems, and the ability to negotiate better prices for their clients. Given the complexity of prescription drug benefit programs, it is often a good idea to turn over the management of prescription drug plans to qualified individuals who either work in a freelance capacity, as a third-party company that specializes in providing such services, or through a professional employer organization (PEO). One added benefit of working through a PEO is risk pooling, which can decrease the costs associated with not only drug plans but other healthcare expenses as well.
What Small Businesses Want*:
Freedom of choice
Small businesses want access to plans that exclude expensive drugstores from their networks. Sixty-one percent say it is a good idea to “allow employers to choose lower cost plans that exclude the most expensive drugstores from their coverage network.
Case-by-case drug pricing
Seventy-four percent oppose mandating across-the-board, low co-pays for expensive drugs. By a 2-1 margin, small businesses think it would be better to require pharmaceutical companies to offer case-by-case price discounts to those in need.
Small businesses want to hold drugstores accountable. Eighty-eight percent say it is a good idea to “allow plans to audit pharmacies that appear to be overcharging.”
Mail-Order Prescription Plans
Small businesses want access to plans that encourage delivery of prescription drugs through the mail. Seventy-nine percent say it is a good idea to “allow plans to offer discounts that encourage employees to get prescriptions by mail.”
Prescription drug prices jumped 10 percent this year alone. But most small businesses, while pessimistic about the overall trend of rising healthcare costs, aren’t going down without a fight. Nor should they. There are solutions and strategies for combating high drug prices available to proactive business owners right here at PEO Broker.
*According to a national survey conducted by Ayres McHenry & Associates Inc.