Pharmacy costs make our premiums higher

Have you ever compared the actual costs of your prescription drugs from one pharmacy to the next? What you may find might shock you. Unfortunately, those differences don't matter to most of us who just pay a copay for our Rx. We just simply go to the closest pharmacy to our work, or the one on the way home.

When we pay a copay for our Rx, then we really have no idea of what the actual costs are. But we should, because those costs are being passed on to our insurance carrier which will ultimately affect our future premiums.

Many health insurance companies are changing their Rx coverage from co-pays, to co-insurance. Instead of paying $20 for that brand name drug, the cost would be 30%. The point is to give an incentive to policy holders to shop the local pharmacies, and talk to their doctor about lowering their prescription costs.

Prescription drug costs make up over 1/3rd of total claims costs. To save the insurance company and yourself money, always talk to your physician about generic medications, as well as alternatives that may provide the same results, and provide you a lower copay.

Understanding and being aware of the actual cost of our prescriptions is something we can all do to help reduce the spiraling cost of health care.

Regence BlueShield has a helpful website for looking up drugs and their alternatives. Another tip: switch to mail order if you have a chronic condition. Many health plans have a mail order program that will give you 3 months supply for 2 months copay.