HealthPartners pharmacies save patients $1 million on medications using copay coupons
Initiative increasing access to insulin and other medications
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Teams at HealthPartners pharmacies are helping patients significantly reduce out-of-pocket spending for medications. In an initiative begun this year, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians across HealthPartners and Park Nicollet 27 retail pharmacies and HealthPartners mail order pharmacy proactively help patients apply for manufacturer copay cards and process the claim.
Drug manufacturers offer the cards on hundreds of brand name medications. The cards typically cover a large portion of the patient’s share of the drug’s cost. There is no income limit to use the copay cards which are typically valid for one year. The cards can be used by patients with commercial insurance. They are not valid for patients using Medicare, Medicaid, or other government-funded programs.
“Cost is a top reason why people do not take medications as prescribed or do not fill them at all,” said Mike Haag, HealthPartners Director of Pharmacy Operations. “While anyone can apply for the copay cards, many patients don’t know that they are available and the application and billing process can be challenging. Our pharmacy teams can overcome these barriers to help ensure that patients get medications they need at a more affordable price.”
The initiative is helping about 1,000 patients each month reduce their costs for medications. From January to June, HealthPartners and Park Nicollet pharmacies helped patients save about $1 million. About 30 percent of patients who are benefitting have diabetes. The initiative is saving each of these patients an average of $125 every month.
The pharmacy teams only assist applying for the cards when a less expensive generic alternative medication is not available. A study by University of Southern California examined copay coupon availability for the top 200 drugs by spending. Of these, 90 brand name drugs had coupons available and about half were for drugs with no generic substitute.
HealthPartners is the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. For more information, visit healthpartners.com.