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Impacts to Out-of-Pocket Prescription Drug Costs

TUCSON, AZ (February 16, 2017) – A December 2016 analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation illustrates how prescription medications will be a large portion of overall healthcare spending, and how branded drug prices have nearly doubled. The analysis also explains that 1-in-4 people have difficulty affording their medicines, and that most Americans favor actions to keep drug prices down, (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2016).

Unfortunately, a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA-Obamacare) could end up increasing drug costs to insured consumers and leaving millions of Americans uninsured. A report written by the Congressional Budget Office states, “repealing major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, while leaving other parts in place, would cost 18 million people their insurance in the first year and an estimated 32 million people in 2026,” (Congressional Budget Office, 2017). The study also projects that insurance premiums would increase by 25 percent in the first year, then double by 2026.

Regardless of the changes made to the ACA, the end-result will have detrimental impacts on the American healthcare coverage. Even a partial repeal could include heavy changes that will increase costs to consumers.  Insurance plans may no longer be required to cover essential health benefits (EHB) in accordance with benchmark plans. Examples of the potential impacts include:

  • Removal of no-cost preventative coverage
  • Restrictions on maternity and family planning coverage
  • Exclusions of prescription drugs for many diseases and conditions
  • Elimination of prescription drug coverage altogether

The message is clear, even for those retaining their insurance – Americans will be shouldering more out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.

“Any reduction in benefits to emerge from a replacement of the law, especially to the essential minimum benefit set, would likely drive patients without adequate drug coverage to seek solutions to combat high priced prescription drugs,” stated Rory Rickert, Principal with QuarterLine Consulting, a national healthcare consulting and services firm.  “I expect that changes to the Affordable Care Act would, if anything, result in increased demand for pharmacy discount programs like those offered by ScriptSave,” added Rickert.

To help populations gain some relief from the upcoming change in their healthcare, ScriptSave® WellRx provides an alternative to paying full price for prescription medications. WellRx enables individuals to compare prices at local pharmacies, look up drug information, and setup reminders. Through a partnership with SinfoníaRx, members can even consult with a pharmacist to ask detailed questions about the medications they are taking.

Not only does WellRx give discounts on prescriptions not covered by insurance, it may even provide discounted prices lower than insurance copays. The program is available as a stand-alone for consumers (wellrx.com), white-labeled option for organizations, or an integrated solution for health care organizations (WellRx Connect).

“The future of healthcare is uncertain at this time, but no matter the outcome, no one should ever overpay for prescription medications. ScriptSave can help healthcare consumers with high deductible health plans, limited insurance, or no health insurance at all,” said Marcus Sredzinski, COO and Executive Vice President, ScriptSave. “Our products help consumers save money on prescriptions, understand their medications and, most importantly, remain adherent.  We can help organizations and individuals impacted by the repeal and replacement of ACA, or any changes to their insurance status,” added Sredzinski.

This may be especially poignant in light of recent data published by PatientsLikeMe. From a poll of over 2,000 patients, their survey showed:

  • 65.5% stated that lower costs for prescription medications was a top priority
  • A further 30.8% rated lower Rx costs as being important
  • Fewer than 4% had little-or-no concern about prescription prices

Furthermore, it’s not just patients with existing health conditions that rank lower prescription costs as a priority – the general public seems to agree. Data from a December 2016 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll found that lowering the cost of prescription drugs was listed as being important or a priority for 89% of the general population.

When opinions like these are voiced, ScriptSave is ready to help by doing what they do best, lower the out-of-pocket costs of prescription medications for consumers.

ScriptSave’s long-standing mission has been to close the gaps in prescription coverage, and has a 20-year history of working with health plans and pharmacies to provide consumers with discounts on prescribed medications. ScriptSave’s WellRx solutions are not only designed to assist consumers directly but can be utilized by employers, employer groups, health plans, PBMs, and other organizations to assist their populations with prescription adherence, savings, and information. The WellRx savings network includes about 62,000 independent and chain pharmacies. In 2016 alone, ScriptSave earned members more than $1.3 Billion in savings.

References:

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Analysis of National health expenditure Historical and Projected data from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary, National Health Statistics Group (Assessed on December 16, 2016). https://kff.org/slideshow/what-are-the-recent-and-forecasted-trends-in-prescription-drug-spending/

Congressional Budget Office (January 2017). How Repealing Portions of the Affordable Care Act Would Affect Health Insurance Coverage and Premiums. https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/reports/52371-coverageandpremiums.pdf

PatientsLikeMe (February 2017). Largest Patient Poll on ACA Shows Patients Value Health Care Law More Than the General Population, Are Less Inclined to Want a Repeal. https://news.patientslikeme.com/press-release/largest-patient-poll-aca-shows-patients-value-health-care-law-more-general-population-

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (January 6, 2017). Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Health Care Priorities for 2017. https://kff.org/health-costs/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-health-care-priorities-for-2017/

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About ScriptSave:

For more than two decades, ScriptSave has been closing the gaps in healthcare and prescription coverage with innovative savings programs for the uninsured, under-insured, and insured. Headquartered in Tucson, ScriptSave solutions, analytics, and unique expertise save consumers money and increase medication adherence, while attracting and retaining loyal, profitable customers, members, and patients for our clients. ScriptSave is a member of the MedImpact, Inc. family of companies. For more information, go to www.scriptsave.com. Follow us: @SSWellRx (Twitter), ScriptSave WellRx (Facebook).

About QuarterLine:

QuarterLine is a health-focused services company specializing in providing Information Technology, Clinical, and Professional services to federal and private sector customers. QuarterLine supports a diverse client base in all areas of health, including navigating the complex regulatory and business environments, emerging health programs, and technology. QuarterLine’s mission is to provide the right level of support at the right time to our customers to ensure that the outcome of the initiative or the resulting technology delivers the needed results to improve healthcare delivery and increase efficiency. QuarterLine is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. www.quarterline.com

About SinfoníaRx:

SinfoníaRx, a wholly owned subsidiary or Sinfonía Healthcare Corp, is an innovative health care company whose mission is to provide the highest quality healthcare solutions for health plans, patients, and caregivers. We improve the health and wellness of patients with complex and chronic illnesses through the use of innovative healthcare technology and the most experienced medication therapy management providers in the nation.  www.sinfoniarx.com

 

ScriptSave Contact:

Shawn Ohri, Vice President of Business Development
sohri@scriptsave.com

QuarterLine Contact:

Rory L. Rickert, Principal
480-451-0148
rrickert@quarterline.com

Sinfonía Contact:

Kevin Boesen, 520-499-3376
KPBoesen@sinfoniarx.com

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TUCSON, AZ (October 13, 2016) – ScriptSave WellRx, a prescription savings and adherence program that provides up to an 80% discount on both generic and name brand prescription medications and an innovative “Ask a Pharmacist” feature, was recently showcased on The Balancing Act morning show airing on Lifetime®.

Shawn Ohri, Director of WellRx Product Development, and ScriptSave Vice President Jerry Parker provide valuable information and highlight the benefits, attributes, and future developments of ScriptSave WellRx.

“We enjoyed appearing on The Balancing Act and talking about ScriptSave WellRx and its future.  We are focused on closing the gap in drug coverage and we are excited to bring a product to market that provides price transparency, savings, and also promotes medication adherence. The goal of ScriptSave WellRx is to educate healthcare consumers on all facets of their medications, boost adherence, and improve outcomes.  Our roadmap includes many great features that complement this vision,“ said Shawn Ohri.

ScriptSave WellRx Mobile AppScriptSave WellRx is already being utilized by over 400,000 consumers and is available for free on the web (www.wellrx.com) and as Apple and Android apps. WellRx enables healthcare consumers to compare prices for prescription drugs at local pharmacies, look up drug information, and consult with a pharmacist about their medications.  Consumers may even find prescription prices lower than their insurance copays and can get discounts for medications not covered by their insurance plan.  The program also has population health applications and can be utilized by employers, health plans, and other organizations.

You can watch the ScriptSave WellRx segment on The Balancing Act website (https://www.thebalancingact.com/fill-your-scripts-without-breaking-the-bank/), and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjnVPRk_Twg).

About ScriptSave:

For more than two decades, ScriptSave has been closing the gaps in healthcare and prescription coverage with innovative savings programs, like ScriptSave WellRx, for the uninsured, under-insured, and insured since 1994. Headquartered in Tucson, ScriptSave solutions, analytics, and unique expertise save consumers money and increase medication adherence, while attracting and retaining loyal, profitable customers, members and patients for our clients. ScriptSave is a member of the MedImpact, Inc. family of companies. For more information, go to www.scriptsave.com. Follow us: @SSWellRx (Twitter), Scriptsavewellrx (Facebook).

About The Balancing Act:

The Balancing Act is America’s premier morning show that brings today’s busy on-the-go modern women positive solutions and cutting-edge ideas to help balance and enrich their lives every day. From workouts to the workplace, from kids to the kitchen, The Balancing Act offers trusted advice to inspire and empower women across the country each weekday morning.  The Balancing Act…..what women today need to know! Weekday mornings at 7:30 a.m. (ET/PT) on Lifetime.

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Do you need to save on your prescription medications?

Visit www.WellRx.com to compare prices on medications at pharmacies near you.

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ScriptSave WellRx Prescription Savings Mobile App

TUCSON, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ScriptSave, which provides prescription savings solutions and cards for the uninsured, underinsured, and insured, has launched a new mobile health application, ScriptSave® WellRx, to put prescription savings directly into the hands of consumers.

“Rising costs for prescription medications combined with the increasing number of health benefit designs that include higher out of pocket spend have placed a bigger financial burden on the patient,” said Dr. Marcus Sredzinski, COO and Executive Vice President, ScriptSave. “This financial hardship can in turn lead to poor medication adherence and compliance. We are excited to offer ScriptSave WellRx as a tool to help consumers stay on their medication therapy for better health outcomes.”

The ScriptSave WellRx mobile app allows consumers to search and compare prescription drug prices, locate pharmacies, and receive immediate savings at the register on both generic and brand prescription medications. ScriptSave WellRx is accepted nationwide at more than 62,000 participating pharmacies. Savings can be applied to prescription medications for the entire family – even pets.

Based on a recent survey by Consumer Reports, 33 percent of Americans were paying an average of $39 more out of pocket for their regular prescription medications over the last 12 months alone, and 10 percent were paying as much as an extra $100.1 The same report stated, “Nearly 40 percent of people in this situation cut at least one corner with their medication in order to save money.”

As a result, medication adherence continues to be a significant area of concern in terms of its impact on both cost and quality of care. An estimated $291 billion annually in largely avoidable healthcare costs are attributed to non-adherence.2 ScriptSave WellRx supports consumers in directing their own care, ensuring they have the tools necessary to make informed choices, and adhere to effective, prescribed medicines.

“We built ScriptSave WellRx to deliver on the company’s long-standing commitment to improving the lives of our customers,” said Paige Berger, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales, ScriptSave. “ScriptSave is uniquely positioned to create real change and deliver meaningful prescription savings solutions due in large part to our dynamic partnerships with industry-leading organizations and nationally-based pharmacies who share our focus on caring for customers.”

Direct-to-consumer advertising and other market forces have fueled demand for drugs regardless of insurance coverage, and consumers continue to seek out pharmacies and discount programs to ease the cost burden. ScriptSave WellRx leverages some of the most advanced technology, pharmacy expertise and customer service experience in the industry to help close gaps in healthcare and navigate the consumer to the best prescription coverage.

Feature enhancements scheduled for 2016 will allow patients to learn about possible drug interactions, ask a pharmacist about medication-specific questions, and receive reliable medication reminders and timely refill alerts to ensure adherence to medication regimen.

The mobile health application is an expansion of ScriptSave’s existing prescription savings initiatives and the original ScriptSave WellRx product, which launched seven years ago as the wellrx.com website. The ScriptSave WellRx prescription savings card and tools are available at wellrx.com, and the mobile app is available as a free download on the Apple App Store and on the Android Google Play Store.

About ScriptSave:

For more than two decades, Medical Security Card Company (MSC) LLC, (d/b/a ScriptSave) has been closing the gaps in healthcare and prescription coverage with innovative savings programs for the uninsured, underinsured, and insured. A member of the MedImpact Healthcare Systems, Inc. family of companies, ScriptSave is committed to reducing out-of-pocket drug costs so consumers can afford to fill prescriptions, follow prescribed regimens, and enjoy better health outcomes. For more information, go to www.scriptsave.com.

1 Consumer Reports accessed online: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/08/are-you-paying-more-for-your-meds/index.htm
2 Bosworth HB. Medication adherence: making the case for increased awareness. National Consumers League. Available at https://scriptyourfuture.org/wp-content/themes/cons/m/Script_Your_Future_Briefing_Paper.pdf1. Accessed March 2015

Contacts

Medical Security Card Company LLC
Shawn Ohri
Vice President, Business Development
sohri@scriptsave.com

 

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