UBP blog

09/09/2009

When it comes to your prescription drugs, don’t let the brand-name labels fool you

That’s  because if you do, you’ll end up paying a lot more money than you have to every time you go to the pharmacy.

 

Did you know that one of out three employees doesn’t realize that generic drugs are equally as effective as their brand-name counterparts?

 

Recent results from a PBM Prescription Solutions and UnitedHealth Group survey  show that many people are  misled to believe that brand-name prescription  drugs have different and superior active ingredients than generics. 

 

However, the only true differences between a brand-name and generic prescription drug is  the label;and the higher price that goes along with it.. 

 

One thing employers can do to help their employee reap cost-savings in a down economy is to educate them on the benefits of using generic prescription drugs. Their generic drugs will have the same effectiveness as brand-name drugs, just a lower co-pay.

 

Stay tuned for more tips on cost-savings in a down economy as our team will keep them coming over the next few weeks.

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08/03/2009

Naturapathic Medicine: The AMA says it might not be safe or effective, should insurance cover it?

More and more Americans are going to naturopathic (i.e. natural and holistic) doctors like acupuncturists and mind-body healers. Yet, so many in the medical community (including the doctors of the AMA) continue to dismiss these doctors saying their treatments don’t work.

Despite what AMA doctors say, an influential group of U.S. Senators (led by Senator Tom Harkin and Barbara Mikulski) are giving naturopathic medicine a chance.

Harkin and Mikulski back an amendment that would bar health insurance carriers from “discriminating” against healthcare providers with licenses issued by their states. This amendment’s goal is to get alternative medicine covered by health plans.

All in favor see cost-savings:

Those who are in favor of this amendment say it could bring huge long-term health care cost-savings—tens of billions to be exact.

Savings could come from the following two things, among others:

  1. More people leaving behind costly prescription drugs in favor of alternative medicine
  2. More people seeing naturopathic doctors who help them make lifestyle changes (i.e. stress reduction, improved diet, vitamins and minerals) and in turn becoming healthier 

Naturopathic doctors do say that you should absolutely use prescription drugs and have surgery when it is medically necessary. However, for things such as neck and back pain, insomnia, head colds, anxiety and stress, there are new (and less costly) alternatives to popping a pill.

With all of this in mind (and what the medical experts say), do you think health insurance should cover both licensed alternative and regular medical treatments?

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