Proposed Drug Rebate Bill Likely To Hike Premiums, Limit Consumer Freedom Says Humana Exec

President Trump’s endeavor to cut down on medical costs by forcing insurers to give drug-maker discounts to senior patients at pharmacy counters would increase insurance premiums for all customers say insurance executives of Humana. They also warned that this system would lead to disruption in the marketplace once Trump’s ban on confidential pharmacy discounts with drug-makers with relation to government healthcare plans becomes active. Though health regulators cannot ban them with regard to private and commercial health plans they are being pressured to introduce laws that would make it a reality.

The law proposed by Trump’s administration would urge drug discounts to be carried forward to consumers purchasing expensive drugs at pharmacy counters which will help to bring down their costs. But some insurers argue that these discounts which are now being used to bring down insurance premiums of drug plans would most likely lead to high premiums in future and shrink consumer choice. This situation is challenging for companies as they now have an uncertain future in determining insurance coverage for 2020 from this spring. Humana CEO Bruce Broussard stated that though he supports the government’s initiative to lower drug costs this proposal will just reallocate dollars without making any changes to actual cost of drugs.

In general senior citizens with standalone Part D Medicare plans gravitate towards insurance plans with low monthly premiums that will result in decline of its Part Denrollments during 2019. Other insurers like Express Scripts, United Health Group and CVS Health have already started offering plans to pass on rebates to their customers by getting ahead of middlemen fees. Other firms like Centene have announced to their investors that it is already moving beyond rebates for all their healthcare plans. Trump’s administrative office has estimated that these rebates could help to reduce 30 % of out of pocket costs for patients.

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