The common goal of the partnership is to help “consumers understand the true cost of their prescriptions and secure the best pricing,” said Select Health, a subsidiary of Intermountain Health, in a statement.
Under the partnership, members will have access to more than 1,000 prescription products at potentially lower prices than traditional pharmacies, the health insurer said. The collaboration encompasses medications for many common conditions including high blood pressure, certain cancers, dementia, asthma and diabetes.
According to a Department of Health and Human Services report last year, drug prices have outpaced inflation. More than a third of Americans have had to go without prescription medication due to their costs.
Entering partnerships to reduce costs
A number of companies have announced partnerships this year aimed at reducing costs. In August, Blue Shield of California dropped some of its CVS Caremark services in favor of a collaboration with Cost Plug Drugs, Amazon Pharmacy and others. Once the multi-year plan is fully implemented, Blue Shield expects to save up to $500 million on medications annually.
Select Health said its latest partnership is one of the first health plans in the country to provide member access to Cost Plus Drugs. Member access began on Sept. 15, the insurer said.
“This agreement helps fulfill our mission by making healthcare more affordable to the communities that we serve. We are enabling our members to have access to more affordable healthcare by assisting them in finding optimal drug prices,” said Select Health President and CEO Rob Hitchcock.
“As a practicing physician I saw first-hand the danger of patients not taking their medications because they couldn't afford them,” said Alex Oshmyansky, Cost Plus Drugs CEO. “We are excited to now be working with Select Health and PBMs like Scripius to further reduce the cost to patients and to keep the patient record complete from both a clinical and financial perspective.”
Select Health encourages members to visit Cost Plus Drugs online to create an account and explore benefits.
Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.
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