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Employers back pharmacy benefits for employees

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 24, 2013

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More employers plan to offer pharmacy benefits to their workers, according to a May report by Buck Consultants, a health care consulting firm.

The survey indicated that 99% of respondents will offer the benefits in 2013 compared with 96% the previous year. Eighty-seven percent said affordable pharmacy benefits have a high impact on containing costs. Forty-eight percent cited medical plan management, and 46% pointed to disease management as a way of keeping costs down.

In addition, 48% of employers offer pharmacy benefits to Medicare-eligible participants. This number is down from about 50% in the last survey. Of those who offer the coverage, 55% plan to continue it, but that’s down from 75% previously. More responders were undecided about whether to continue the benefit (33%) than in the last survey (19%).

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