Developments in Benefits - July, 2011
Prescription Spending Growth Slowed in 2010
A recent report by consulting firm IMS Health revealed that U.S. prescription spending growth was 2.3 percent in 2010, a decrease from 5.1 percent growth in 2009. This represents the second lowest growth rate in 55 years.
Reasons cited by IMS for the decreased growth include:
• Greater use of generic medicines. Several popular medicines came off patent recently, allowing consumers choose generic versions. This trend is expected to continue as patents expire on other widely used medications in the next two years.
• Less spending on new therapies. The report found a decline in unique new medicines being developed, as most new drugs that have been released in recent years were similar to existing available drugs. This accounted for a decline in new drug spending.
• Fewer patients visiting doctors to begin new treatments for chronic conditions. This trend was attributed to the poor economy and high unemployment, which forced many people to go without health insurance or cut back on expenses. - View the PDF
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires health plans and health insurance issuers to provide participants with a summary of benefits and coverage no later than March 23, 2012. The summary of benefits and coverage does not replace any required disclosure documents for group health plan coverage, such as the summary plan description (SPD). Rather, it adds to the list of required participant disclosures. Both non-grandfathered and grandfathered plans will need to provide summaries of benefits and coverage. - View the PDF
A medical child support order is a judgment, decree, or order (including an approval of a property settlement) that: Is made pursuant to State domestic relations law (including a community property law) or certain other State laws relating to medical child support (see Q1-8); and Provides for child (more)