Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina reduces cost for 90-day medication supplies

By | July 21, 2020

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is decreasing how much members pay for 90-day supplies of maintenance medications by up to 33% for the rest of the year.

The rule went into effect July 15 for fully insured customers but does not include Medicare members due to regulatory restraints.

The move is intended to ease some of the financial burden consumers have from COVID-19, as well as to prompt people to stay home by receiving a 90-day supply of medications, according to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

WHAT’S THE IMPACT

Both mail-in and retail pharmacies will make the discount available for customers.

Members on an individual under-65 health plan can already get the discount. Other members who receive a 90-day supply between July 15 and September 1 will be sent a refund check in October. Following September 1, members will get the discount at their pharmacy.

The discount also doesn’t apply to customers that don’t receive pharmacy benefits from their Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plan. Some Administrative Services Only groups already cover this benefit or may choose to add it to their plan.

THE LARGER TREND

In addition to this discount, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has expanded coverage for telehealth visits and care and removed cost-sharing and prior authorization from COVID-19 related tests and services.

Making access to healthcare more affordable is urgent, as a recent survey that showed half of consumers avoid seeking care because it’s too difficult. Many of those times are related to cost, with more than half (53%) saying they avoided care because they weren’t sure what it would cost.

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Anthem is also attempting to make getting prescriptions easier on consumers. Last month the health plan began offering Alexa-enabled devices to order prescription refills and look up health plan information.

ON THE RECORD

“We understand that the COVID-19 public health crisis has caused financial strain for many North Carolinians,” said Rahul Rajkumar, chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, in a statement. “By reducing how much members pay for their 90-day prescription supply, we hope we can make things a little easier for members in addition to helping them stay home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org

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