Tags: Healthcare Reform | specialty drug | cost | rise | with obamacare

Costs for Specialty Drugs to Rise Significantly Under Obamacare

Costs for Specialty Drugs to Rise Significantly Under Obamacare

 A non-profit health clinic in Colorado (John Moore/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 December 2016 08:32 PM

Obamacare will cost more for people who need access to expensive drugs, reports Kaiser Health News.

That could mean big problems for people with HIV, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, hemophilia, hepatitis C and other chronic illnesses.

Specialty drugs are often used to treat those illnesses and, can cost more than $600. Many of the newer medicines, according to Kaiser, come in between $5,000 and $10,000 per month with little or no substitutes. Most plans being sold on the health marketplace require patients to pay for 30 percent or more of the drug cost.

And, researchers think insurers are creating plans with rigid specialty prescription benefits.

“Plans are no longer able to actively exclude people based on health status, but they still have an incentive to try to end up with healthier enrollees,” Benjamin Sommers, a health economist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told Kaiser. “This isn’t just about drugs. These drugs can be a signal of other types of high health care spending. The people who use them have conditions that make them more likely to end up in the hospital or emergency room.”

President-elect Donald Trump touted during his campaign that he would repeal and replace Obamacare but later softened his stance and said he would keep certain provisions.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that repealing Obamacare is still the first item up next year on the agenda.


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Obamacare will cost more for people who need access to expensive drugs, reports Kaiser Health News.
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Wednesday, 07 December 2016 08:32 PM
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