Top 3 Health Stories – November 22

You don’t need to be a benefits expert to know the trending storyline in health care: rising costs. Today’s top three stories highlight some of the ways those costs can be attributed to administrative and “business-related” expenses rather than the direct cost of care.

  1. This story from the Wall Street Journal details how CVS will look to stop selling over 30 prescriptions due to cost cutting measures. The company believes these brand name drugs are being sold rather than less costly generics because of marketing ploys by the drug makers; specifically, the company will evaluate “co-pay” cards offered by the drug makers. The full article can be viewed here: CVS Disfavors Some Drugs
  2. A second article in Health Affairs takes a look at “non benefit costs,” or the costs of organizing and arranging health care that are passed onto the consumer. Author Merton Bernstein explains, “Those costs are larger than necessary due to how we arrange (I almost wrote “organize”) health care. Over 1,300 enterprises sell or administer employment-based medical care insurance or medical benefit plans. The thousands of plans covering tens of millions employees vary in countless ways that must be taken into account in the labor intensive activities of preparing bills and processing them.” The full article can be viewed here: Pay Attention to Non-Benefit Costs!
  3. Deloitte has released its review of potential changes in the health market once the Affordable Care Act comes to be in 2014. In its brief, The Impact of Health Reform on the Individual Insurance Market, Deloitte evaluates how “Changes in the individual insurance market could ripple across every sector of the U.S. health care delivery system. The potential for rapid expansion of this market is strong; forces impacting employer-sponsored coverage and a shifting workforce suggest the market will be robust.”

Maybe not the light holiday reading you were looking for, but these three pieces highlight the nuances in health costs not always clear to the individual consumer.

– Eric

About thebenefitblog

Eric is a Producer at Lockton Insurance Brokers, Inc., the world’s largest privately held commercial broker. Eric has over 23 years of experience in the insurance industry and has spent the last 11 years with Lockton. Eric specializes in Health & Welfare Benefits, Retirement Planning, and Executive Benefits. Eric's clients utilize his expertise in the areas of Plan Due Diligence, Transaction Structure, Fiduciary Oversight, Investment Design, Compliance and Vendor negotiation to improve the operational & financial outcome for each client. The Benefit Blog is a place to share that expertise and industry news.
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