New Florida Law Stops Overpaying for Prescriptions
Thankfully, change is coming. A Florida law beginning July 1 may save you some serious money. Florida lawmakers are placing a ban on the “gag clause.”
A “gag clause” forbids pharmacists from telling consumers when they could save money by paying cash instead of their health insurance copay. The practice has frustrated pharmacists for years.
For example, you might pay a co-pay of $43 for cholesterol medicine but customers paying cash pay, $19 and until now, the pharmacist was restricted from telling you it was cheaper to pay cash.
According to the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), “If pharmacists violate the gag clauses, PBMs (Pharmacy Benefit Managers) may end the contracts or otherwise impose penalties-a practice widely criticized for inhibiting price transparency and contributing to rising health care costs for patients.”
PBMs claim to negotiate discounts for consumers with drug manufacturers while they receive a rebate. But their practices are being questioned due to their lack of transparency. In a recent report, “Reforming Biopharmaceutical Pricing at Home and Abroad”, The White House Council of Economic Advisers said that large pharmacy benefit managers “exercise undue market power” and generate “outsized profits for themselves.”
“Banning the gag clause is a step in the right direction for our state, in reducing healthcare costs,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance.
CNN reports, $3.2 trillion a year is spent on healthcare in the U.S. That is almost $10,000 per person. It is more than any other country in the world. Why is healthcare so expensive in the U.S.? Medication costs, expensive tests and procedures as well as administrative costs and the frequency in which we run scans and tests drive up the cost of our healthcare compared to other countries. Unfortunately, we are not healthier.
The best way to fix our healthcare problems is to focus on better individual health.