According to some Nurse Practioners I talked with they have very worried about the prescribing power insurers over patients. In some cases insurers are even refusing to cover some generic medications at which time they tell patients to “just pay cash”.
Have patients started to notice? According to one nurse I spoke to yes. “Patients are more health savvy today and they know which medications they want or need”. At the pharmacy level pharmacists and pharm techs are also seeing a change. “People really notice that co-pays have gone up and in some cases, they don’t renew their Rx’s” one Pharm tech told me.
Will the media ever shift the focus from “big bad pharma” to the growing threat of insurers dictating treatments”? Hard to say, especially when you have companies like Mylan charging $600 for a drug that should be a fraction of that cost. However, patients seem to be noticing in a big way.
Employees are also noticing the power of insurers in higher health insurance costs and less take home pay. A business associate, working for a big pharma company, recently told me how shocked she was when she changed jobs. “The cost of health insurance for me and my daughter have more than doubled and the first $4000 in costs is out-of-pocket”.
Eventually the ripple effect of “anger and rage” is going to go mainstream and politicians are going to be forced to act to quiet voter anger. The calls for a single payer system are going to grow louder and look for more stories on the high pay of insurance company executives.