Over the summer, Medicare announced that the premiums for each beneficiary’s actual prescription plan would stay the same. However, it didn’t mention whether or not the copay (the portion of the cost of your prescription that you pay the pharmacy) would stay the same.
Avalere, a data analysis firm, recently conducted a study on this. It reported that during the next year, the copay for preferred brand-name drugs could inflate to $40.60, almost $12 higher than the current average of $29.01. Twelve dollars might not sound like a lot, but if you refill one prescription each month, it will cost you an extra $144 each year — and that’s only for one medication.
If you are someone who factors multiple preferred brand-name drugs into your budget, then you might want to consider other options for the future. A plan that supports generic products might be a good choice, because Avalere predicts those prices will remain stable. The average copay for preferred generic prescription drugs will remain at $3.79, while the copay for non-preferred generics are said to drop in price from $17.29 to $9.90.
It’s important to keep in mind that the numbers found in the Avalere study are averages, and that they can’t determine exactly what you will pay. That said, make sure you’re keeping a close eye on the prices of your prescriptions throughout 2012, and adjust your plan accordingly.
Would you consider switching from brand-name to generic prescriptions? Why or why not? Tell us in a comment.