4/28/10

Dispensing fees -- another new cost for employees?

Here's what one drug plan consultant wrote in Benefits Canada about how the proposed generic drug reforms could affect pharmacy dispensing fees:

Dispensing fees will increase materially to compensate for the adverse financial impact of these proposed changes on pharmacies. In fact, during the week of April 19th, dispensing fees in Ontario immediately increased to $14.99 in some stores. They could easily move materially higher in the weeks and months ahead. For plans without fee caps, an escalation in costs due to higher fees is anticipated.

I might  add that in cases where employer-based drug plans impose dispensing fee caps, union members may well end up on the hook.

Indeed, with the likelihood of increased dispensing fees, some employers are being told to add a dispensing fee cap to their plan if they don't already have one. So while employers may get a break on drug plan premiums, employees may get dinged with extra dispensing fee costs at the drug store. 

So watch our for that trick. 

(The good news for CUPE hospital workers with the central agreement is that there is no, or should be no, dispensing fee cap.)

While the full report in Benefits Canada on the proposed generic reforms has an employer perspective, it is worth a read, see:  http://www.benefitscanada.com/benefit/health/article.jsp?content=20100426_112541_5088

dallan@cupe.ca

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