Know the Lowest Price Act.
This act was signed into law on October 10 and will become effective either on or after January 1, 2020. The act blocks Medicare Advantage plan providers or providers of a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan from using gag clauses that prohibit pharmacists from alerting Medicare customers of differences between their insurance copay and what the patient would pay without using health insurance coverage, says Ken Majkowski, PharmD, chief pharmacy officer at FamilyWize, which aims to help consumers save money on prescription drugs.
The act was implemented to increase price transparency for consumers covered under Medicare or Medicare Advantage. “Many consumers don’t know to ask if a lower prescription price is available,” Majkowski says. “When a pharmacist knows that a patient is overpaying but can’t share this information, the patient loses a chance to save and pharmacists feel like they aren’t performing to the best of their abilities. Consumers aren’t given the opportunity to make educated choices surrounding healthcare costs.”
Pharmacists can help patients find better pricing by advising that there are options available to them, Majkowski says. Pharmacists may also want to remind patients that if they don’t use their Medicare benefit, they may not be able to apply that purchase to their deductible, if one exists.
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