NBC news recently reported that sometimes it is cheaper to purchase prescription drugs by not using your health insurance. This phenomenon is a result of a practice called “clawback.” Pharmacy benefit managers handle the prescription drug part of your insurance plan. A “clawback” is when a benefit manager charges a copay that exceeds a drug’s cash price and then pockets a portion of the copay.
“At Hoffart’s pharmacy for example, one customer had a copay of $43 for the cholesterol drug Simvastatin. Hoffart’s price for customers paying without insurance? $19. Another customer had a copay of $58 for the anti-depressant Buproprion. Hoffart’s cash price? $33. A different pharmacist shared the example of a customer whose copay was $129 for the anti-nausea drug Ondansetron. The pharmacist told us his cash price for that drug is $18.”
Pro Tip: How To Make Sure You Are Getting The Lowest Price
According to experts, many Americans are paying extra for some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the country. How can you be sure you are getting the lowest price? You have to ask your pharmacist if your drug is cheaper without insurance and you can’t depend on your pharmacist to tell you. This is because many insurance companies won’t let your pharmacist tell you about the cheapest price unless you specifically ask if the price is cheaper without insurance. Asking your pharmacist if a drug is cheaper without insurance may help you save some money.
We hope you are finding these consumer alerts useful. And, as always, if you know someone who is struggling with overdue debts, please have them call us for a bankruptcy consultation at 212-315-3755.