What is a simple way to reduce drug claims on our employee benefit plan?

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Engaging your employees is probably one of the most significant things you can do to modify claiming behaviour. If you can motivate your employees to make changes in the way they claim, they can have a considerable impact on the overall claims experience, helping to keep your premiums down.

 

Try to keep drug dispensing fees to a minimum.

 

Dispensing fees can, at times, be a large portion of a drug claim. According to The Ontario Ministry of Health website, as of April 1, 2012, the dispensing fee payable to most pharmacies is $8.40 but can be as high as $12.61 in more remote areas. High dispensing fees multipled by numerous prescription refills per employee can add up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars in claims. By getting a 90-day supply of maintenance drugs, an employee can cut that portion of the cost by two-thirds without taking anything away from the employee. Also, in populated areas, searching out pharmacies with lower dispensing fees can have a significant impact on the cost.

 

The pharmacies in Walmart, many grocery stores, and Costco are all great alternatives to traditional pharmacies if you are looking to save on dispensing fees. Many people are not aware that Costco pharmacies are open to the public; no membership is necessary, and the dispensing fee is only $3.89! So, if you have 10 employees each getting 1 prescription per month the difference in cost for the dispensing fees could range from as high as $1,513.20 all the way down to $466.80, and if everyone went to Costco and bought a 90-day supply at a time, the dispensing fee cost drops to $155.60.

 

Obviously, not everyone is on a maintenance drug and sometimes it’s just not that convenient to search out the lowest fees, but if you can get this message across to even some of your employees, you will be surprised by how much this small change can reduce your claims.