Healthcare spending in the United States is notoriously high. As of 2016, the U.S. spends 17.6 percent of its GDP on healthcare—more than any other developed nation.
One of the biggest contributors to these costs is prescription medication. The average American spends an estimated $1,200 per year out-of-pocket on their prescriptions. And for individuals with severe health concerns, that number can reach much higher.
The rising price of essential medication doesn’t just affect direct consumers—it also affects their employers. According to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation, employer spending on healthcare costs topped $15,000 per family in 2018, an all-time high. Compared to a decade ago, an additional 10% of that amount is spent on prescription drugs.
Employees are hitting their out-of-pocket maximums on drug spending at much faster rates than only a few years ago, leaving employers with higher bills. A reduction in capital expenditures on prescription drugs can clearly lead to a significant reduction in total healthcare costs for both employees and employers. But how can businesses reach this goal?
A mail-order prescription program can play a vital role in improving this part of healthcare for all parties involved. Mail-order prescription programs can increase convenience and reduce overall costs for employees, passing those savings along to you.
It’s easy to see the benefit of reduced drug costs to you as a business owner providing healthcare plans to employees. Let’s take a look at a few more specific ways mail-order prescription services can help you and your employees save time and money.
Wondering how to improve employee satisfaction? Using mail-order prescriptions can help. A mail-order system is faster, more convenient, and more cost-effective. A more convenient system affects employees’ quality of life, producing happier and more efficient workers. Happier workers make a positive difference to your bottom line.
When offered a mail-order prescription benefit, employees may worry about the safety and practicality of receiving their drugs through the mail. However, mail-order prescription programs have shown to be a safe and simple alternative to refilling drugs at a traditional pharmacy.
Having your prescriptions delivered right to your doorstep is clearly convenient. The mail-order process has been created with everyone in mind, from capable seniors to busy professionals to disabled patients or those with mobility and transportation challenges.
What about the quality of the drugs involved? Is it safe to trust pharmaceuticals that come in the mail and aren’t picked up from a qualified pharmacy?
Mail-order prescriptions have to pass a rigorous quality dispensing program before they are shipped to patients. Drugs are checked to ensure proper dosages, quantities, and packaging methods, down to the specific varieties of drugs prescribed by a patient’s physician. Traditional pharmacies may offer substitutions without notifying the patient, creating uncertainty that is liable to leave your employees stressed.
No matter what insurance plan you offer or what pharmacies your employees regularly go to, there’s a good chance they can switch to having prescriptions delivered by mail without much hassle. Because of the rising popularity of getting prescriptions delivered by mail, more and more healthcare providers and pharmacies are rearranging their practices and policies to allow for mail-order programs.
With a mail-order prescription plan, employees don’t have to drive to the pharmacy every time they need a refill. They also don’t have to wait in line, and they have less paperwork to deal with. Time savings for employees can directly translate into greater productivity and higher engagement in your business.
Some other benefits that can help relieve your employees’ mental load and help them focus on work include automated reminders that let them know when it’s time to refill a prescription, or if their prescriptions are past due.
Have you ever struggled to get the help you need from your local pharmacy? Sometimes you have questions that need answering right away, and pharmacy workers aren’t equipped to answer all of them.
Mail-order prescription drug programs often come with helpful customer support options. They’re available year-round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide helpful assistance. Participants can call a hotline or even speak with an online chat representative.
Because mail-order prescription programs usually deliver drugs in large quantities, costs are reduced. Insurance co-pays tend to be smaller for a single multi-month order of prescriptions than they would be for multiple smaller orders of the same kind. Wholesale pricing reduces the out-of-pocket healthcare costs of your employees, which directly passes on to you.
Enrollment in mail-order prescription programs generally requires access to patients’ specific healthcare and prescription drug data. Therefore, it’s an ideal benefit for employees participating in a self-funded medical plan, as these employees will typically have more of their personal healthcare information available.
For employees with chronic conditions requiring regular medication, a mail-order prescription program is a perfect fit. Those who regularly spend at least $200 a month on long-term (over 180-days-old) recurring prescriptions will see the most benefit.
Most prescription medications can be delivered through the mail. The only current restrictions involve controlled substances and medications that require refrigeration. If your insurance plan allows delivery, there’s a good chance that most medications your employees use are eligible.
With a typical mail-order prescription drug program, it’s common for packages to include 90 days’ worth of prescriptions in a single order. Most providers will deliver your medicine within seven to ten business days from the time an order is placed.
Managing the cost of prescriptions is one of the biggest challenges involved in offering comprehensive healthcare to your employees. Mail-order prescription programs can play a major role in helping to simplify the issue and reducing overall capital costs.
To learn more about Mail-Order Prescription Programs or to get one started for your business, contact an RMC health specialist today.