CHAPEL HILL, N.C.– Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) is helping customers save money and stay on their medications with the generic copay waiver program. BCBSNC customers saved at least $15 million in out-of-pocket expenses since the program started January 1, 2009. The program will run until June 30.
The generic copay waiver program is in effect until the end of the year for eligible customers taking generics to treat chronic conditions such as hypertension, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
“In this tough economy, the generic copay waiver program allows BCBSNC customers to control out-of-pocket costs by using generic drugs,” says Ron Smith, PharmD, BCBSNC vice president of employer health and corporate pharmacy. “The savings our customers see through the program reaffirms that the generic copay waiver program helps people to better manage their health and not be forced to choose between medication and paying their bills.”
The 2009 generic copay waiver program applies to nearly 1 million BCBSNC customers and eliminates customer copays for covered generic drugs. Eligible BCBSNC customers include:
- Blue Advantage customers (once they meet their annual prescription deductible, if applicable).
- Medicare Supplement customers who have prescription coverage on their policies (once they meet their annual prescription deductible, if applicable).
- Members of insured employer groups (if their employer group has pharmacy benefits through BCBSNC).
- Members of self-funded employer groups (if their employer group has pharmacy benefits through BCBSNC and has chosen to participate in the program).
Generic drugs are equivalent to corresponding brand name drugs in active ingredients, dosage, strength, safety and performance, but they cost a fraction of their brand name counterparts. Since prescription drug costs are a key driver of rising medical costs, the long-term increased use of generics also impacts future premiums for the benefit to BCBSNC customers.
With or without the copay waiver, generic medications cost less out-of-pocket than brand-name medications. Generic copay waiver programs increase those savings and highlight the benefits of generic medications.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.7 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 76 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.