Philadelphia-based Independence Blue Cross plans to unveil its new prescription plan provided through Future Scripts. The pharmacy benefitscompany will administer Independence Blue Cross prescription benefit plans.
Additionally, Independence Blue Cross members will be able to participate in a no co-pay waiver program that will allow users to fill generic prescriptions at participating pharmacies and through mail order.
Independence Blue Cross hopes that by taking the pharmacy business in-house, it may be able to save considerably money on drugs it covers in its insurance plans. Currently, the insurer pays out over $1 billion annually on prescription drugs. It projects the program will save consumers $100 million over the next five years.
Note: The pharmacy business is clearly heating up and employers will be among the winners. Innovations such as Wal-Mart's $4 generic drug program (rolled out in October in Florida) are already inspiring other retailers, including Target, to follow suit. Within a year, employers should see whether this new drug retail environment will result in lower health insurance costs.