UnitedHealthcare announced today that it will eliminate out-of-pocket costs in standard fully insured group plans for certain prescription drugs.
Insulin, among a number of drugs used to treat emergencies including severe allergic reactions, hypoglycemia, opioid overdoses, and acute asthma attacks will be included in the new standard offering.
Along with insulin, epinephrine (for severe allergic reactions), glucagon (for hypoglycemia), Naloxone (for opioid overdoses) and albuterol (for acute asthma attacks) will be included with a $0 cost share.
UnitedHealthcare said in a news release that it will make the offering of preferred prescription drugs available to group fully insured plans potentially as early as Jan. 1, 2023, subject to any required regulatory approval.
Eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for such medications can help reduce the burden of medical costs on consumers and encourage better medication adherence, UnitedHealthcare said. This step represents part of its ongoing efforts to make healthcare more affordable, allowing people to get the drugs they need.
Offering preferred drugs at $0 cost share builds upon previous efforts by UnitedHealthcare and Optum Rx, including point-of-sale discounts that have offered millions of dollars in savings directly to consumers at the pharmacy counter.
“High prices are a significant barrier to prescription drugs for many people, so we are using our unique capabilities to deliver savings for consumers,” UnitedHealthcare CEO Brian Thompson said in the release. “We are doing what we can to shield people from the prices set by pharmaceutical companies, and hope all stakeholders also will act to make prescription drugs more affordable.”