What is prescription drug insurance, anyway?

Journalist Carol M. Ostrom wrote a well-researched — and heartbreaking — story on prescription drug insurance that appeared in Sunday’s Seattle Times.

Ostrom looks at the increase in the number of biotech specialty drugs that aren’t covered by traditional insurance co-pay plans. Instead, patients must pay a percentage of drug costs — which in some cases, can be financially devastating.

Gary Claxton of the Kaiser Family Foundation tells Ostrom that such changes in insurance plans are threatening to defeat the purpose of health insurance in the first place. Says Claxton:

The idea of prescription drug insurance is to protect people from catastrophic costs … At some point, people aren’t going to consider themselves insured if they’re at risk for a huge amount out-of-pocket just because they have one disease rather than another.

Adds health-policy analyst Dan Mendelson: “It gets to the fundamental question of ‘What is insurance?'”

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The article includes the sad stories of a number of healthcare consumers who have had to discontinue needed treatments after losing the battle for coverage with their insurance providers.

Read the article here.

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs.

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0 thoughts on “What is prescription drug insurance, anyway?

  • I appreciated this article so much that I actually emailed the author, not something I typically do.

    I’ve blogged about this topic many times and specifically about the featured drug, Copaxone (which I also use).

    My drug coverage is capped at $1500 each year. Welcome to the Individual Health Insurance Market.

    With personal annual drug costs approaching $30,000, my insurance provides no protection from catastrophic medical costs each and every year.

    What is prescription drug insurance anyway? Indeed.

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