Because many illnesses such as cancer, MS, hemophilia, and rheumatoid arthritis are treated with expensive, specialty drugs, several patient support groups and some drug manufacturers offer cost-sharing programs and "co-pay
assistance" cards that cover a portion of their prescription costs.
The Octapharma Co-Pay
Assistance Program is available to primary humoral immunodeficiency patients who are currently receiving Octagam Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human) 5% Liquid Preparation or have a prescription to begin therapy; and those age 18 or older with chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura who are currently receiving Octagam Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human) 10% Liquid Preparation or have a prescription to begin therapy.
That might involve getting a manufacturer's so-called co-pay
card for a patient, helping an eligible Medicare patient receive free medication from a drug maker or expediting the delivery of medication.
The majority of co-pay
card programs fall short of the expected return on investment (ROI), because they are not tracked or monitored to the degree and frequency that they could be, they said.
Only 62 percent of the workers in plans that cover more than 1,000 employees have to pay a co-pay
for an in-network office visit, but 35 percent have to pay a coinsurance amount.
The 2014 Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductible is $1,216 per hospitalization and the co-pay
for hospitalizations longer than 60 days is $304 per day.
The same problem exists for emergency room co-pays
. The average emergency room visit involves a co-pay
of $76, which might not be high enough to dissuade plan participants from visiting emergency rooms for problems better solved elsewhere.
The ambulance service can bill her for the co-pay
, which it admits to not having tried.
Many pharmacies are required under contract with pharmacy benefits managers to run prescriptions through consumers' insurance regardless of whether or not the co-pay
is higher than the retail price.
According to the committee, charging patients a 20% co-pay
for lab work would save Medicare $23 billion over ten years.
The legislation phases out the discriminatory 50% co-pay
for mental health ambulatory care under Medicare Part B over 6 years.