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2015 Platinum Plans Are Best Buy for Consumers Using Expensive Specialty Drugs
Date:8/26/2014

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Using publicly released 2015 rate filings in 9 states, HealthPocket analyzed health plan costs for five common specialty drugs. Specialty drugs have been a growing concern for consumers given their high costs and shortage of generic alternatives. They treat complex medical conditions, can cost thousands per prescription, and are used for a broad variety of conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.

HealthPocket found that among 2015 Obamacare metal plans whose rate filings have been made public, platinum plans incurred the lowest average out-of-pocket costs for the five common specialty drugs used in the study. The average out-of-pocket specialty drug costs for platinum plans were 64% lower than gold plans, 74% lower than silver plans, and 78% lower than bronze plans. Even though platinum plans have the highest premiums among the four categories of Obamacare health plans, their reduced co-payments and lower caps on annual out-of-pocket costs can translate into lower overall costs for people taking specialty drugs. 

The difference in out-of-pocket costs was dramatic between the categories of Obamacare metal plans. For example, the specialty drug Humira used to treat inflammation could result in annual out-of-pocket costs of $6,381.38 for 2015 bronze plans while costing only $1,416.67 for 2015 platinum plans. However, it should be noted that not every Obamacare health plan covers the same drugs and caps on annual out-of-pocket costs can vary within the same category (i.e. metal tier) of hea
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SOURCE HealthPocket
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