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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
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Thursday, October 11, 2007
Cheaper drug plan stumps board
By Alice Dembner, Globe Staff
Typically, drug coverage adds at least 15 percent to a monthly insurance premium, or about $50 for a 37-year-old, according to the connector staff. The board is seeking to trim that to as low as 5 percent, or about $15, while still providing adequate coverage and allowing easy access to generic drugs.
Connector staff presented a proposal today for a drug plan that would cover all generic drugs for a copayment of about $15 a refill. But that plan would include a $1,000 deductible on all non-generic drugs, along with additional copayments of $50 or $75 per refill. The premiums would be nearly double for a 60-year-old.
Coverage with that kind of separate deductible for drugs has not been popular in Massachusetts, and no insurer currently offers a plan with different deductibles for generic and brand drugs. But some suggested that it might appeal to people seeking the cheapest plan possible.
While some board members argued for providing people with this choice, others said employers might offer their staff only the $1,000 drug deductible plan, forcing employees to buy it or forfeit any employer subsidy.