Why Pharmacy Discount Programs Are Not Dead
Posted on: May 14, 2020 at 9:15 AM by Amanda Franklin
After all these years, prescription discount programs are still a critical piece of the healthcare puzzle. They drive consumerism and transparency by creating options for savings and providing the ability to compare prices. These programs also often include discounts on medications not covered by insurance, helping members reduce out-of-pocket spending regardless of their coverage.
New Benefits recently launched a new pharmacy discount program: New Benefits Rx. Our EVP Operations and resident benefit expert, Amanda Franklin, answered a few questions to explain the continued value of pharmacy discount programs, and what stands out about New Benefits Rx.
Q: What part do pharmacy discount programs play in driving healthcare consumerism?
A: A large component of consumerism is having options. Consumers have the power to compare prices between insurance and the discount, between pharmacies, and even between retail and home delivery. These options remove the one-size-fits-all perception of healthcare; it’s whatever works for the consumer in regards to convenience and access.
Q: Why would you use a pharmacy discount card if you have insurance?
A: Insurance doesn’t cover everything. If there is an expensive drug that’s not in your formulary, the pharmacy discount program provides an alternative means to save. Most formularies don’t cover certain dermatological prescriptions or lifestyle medications, like acid reflux drugs or Propecia for baldness. And sometimes the contracted rate is lower with the discount than with insurance. We always recommend consumers check both options.
Q: Why should an employer provide a pharmacy discount program?
A: Anything employers can do these days to keep their employees healthy and happy is valuable. Especially a resource to ease not only health concerns, but financial burdens as well. Along with serving as an alternative savings option for medications falling outside the formulary, pharmacy discounts are also a great solution for non-benefit eligible employees.
Q: Why is the New Benefits Rx program important to implement now?
A: People are as conscious as ever about how they spend their money and discount pharmacy is a way to save on a very necessary expense. Hopefully the program helps increase medication compliance by alleviating the need for consumers to choose between filling prescriptions or paying other expenses. People trying to stretch dollars can unfortunately mean splitting pills or not taking the recommended dosage in order to extend a prescription. Maybe the discounts available through this program can offset that.
Q: Who is the New Benefits Rx card for?
A: It’s for everyone. New Benefits Rx works for the primary and their entire family regardless of whether they’re on the same insurance plan. There’s no age limit and there’s no usage limit. You can check it against your insured program for a better discount, or save on your prescriptions if you don’t have insurance.
Q: What is the greatest differentiator of New Benefits Rx?
A: One differentiator is the deep discount on over 100 featured brand drugs. By passing additional rebates to the consumer at the point of sale, the program will help members keep more money in their pockets. Second is the ability to save on pet medications through the human crossover program. Surprisingly enough, 50% of dogs and 33% of cats are taking a human crossover medication, which is a prescription that both humans and pets can take, like antibiotics, anxiety or diabetes medications. New Benefits Rx includes discounts on these human crossover medications so the savings extend to the whole family, including pets.
Q: What’s the future of pharmacy discount programs?
A: I don’t think they’re going away any time soon. The enormous increases in drug prices are in the political spotlight and everyone is looking for savings opportunities. We’re also seeing an increase in telemedicine usage, which will likely continue beyond the pandemic, and those acute care prescriptions are great candidates for savings through the pharmacy discount program. Long-term maintenance medications also fall under the discount program, and consumers may get even deeper discounts when they fill these 90-day supply prescriptions through the home delivery service.
I see home delivery as a big part of the future of pharmacy discount programs. We’re living in an “Amazon” world where we’re comfortable ordering everything online — why not get your medications delivered to your door as well?
To learn more about New Benefits Rx, contact our benefits pros at NewSales@NewBenefits.com.