I filled a prescription recently, and the drugstore said they wanted more than 700 bucks… for an old-line generic drug. My insurance ended up knocking that down, but it was WEIRD. And it meant a big homework assignment for me.
Luckily, I got help. Both from some experts, and from the classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life (source of the pictures above and below, of course).
I mean, what I actually learned was not a hundred percent cheerful.
We get these unpredictable prices thanks to companies that — surprise! — make a big profit from driving prices up. (They’re called “pharmacy benefit managers” — PBM for short.)
Theoretically, they work for insurance companies and employers who pay the premiums, and they’re supposed to keep drug prices down.
Economist Geoffrey Joyce used to think they did OK at that, but he’s changed his mind.
One thing that turned him around:
They got sued in several states, saying, ‘Hey, you should be acting in the best interest of your clients.’ And they’ve won in court saying, ‘No, we have no obligation to do what’s best for our clients. We do what’s best for us.’
So, not all sunshine.
But: Feeling a little smarter about the whole thing? It’s a victory. Also kinda fun.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Laura Derrick fought and endured for decades. When medical bills threatened to swamp her family, she made huge sacrifices, worked unbelievably hard... and helped change the course of …
Barbara Faubion got up every day psyched to go to work—which she says puzzled her friends. “They’d go, ‘You love your job?!? You spend your whole day …
Steve Benasso is an HR director who, his colleagues will tell you, hates insurance companies, and hates seeing people getting taken advantage of. So …
If you need medical care, it's like you've entered a casino, playing for your financial life, with the deck stacked against you. Lucky for us, we get insight — and tips the dealer WON'T …
There's no time like a pandemic to (a) learn to fight back against the awful cost of health care. And (b) have a good time doing it. Yep. Let’s go.
We wrap up our COVID-19 popup season with stories from three folks with very different takes on what we've learned so far about what the pandemic is …