Saturday, October 27, 2007

Got generics?

This being enrollment season for group insurance participants, I was helping my son review his medical plan the other day when I experienced a little epiphany. I noticed his Rx benefit pays 70% with copay limits of $10 for generics, $35 for formulary brands and $50 for non-formulary brands. Ho-hum I was thinking until I noticed this: the $10 for generics is a minimum copay. Let's say he gets a generic drug that costs $8. 30% of $8 is $2.40. But he won't pay $2.40 - he'll pay $10. That's interesting, I thought.

Then I looked at my own plan. Whaddya know, same feature except the minimum on my plan is $15.

So what's the epiphany?

Buy my medications at Wal-Mart but tell them I have no insurance.

Because at Wal-Mart each generic costs $4, period. Even I don't need insurance for that. In fact, if I tell them I'm insured, Wal-Mart will file the claim for me and, presto, collect the $15 minimum copay. I'm presently taking two (generic) medications so my copays have been running $30 per month. Not any more. At Wal-Mart, I pay $4 each, saving $22 a month.

Read your plan - maybe you can save, too.
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