UnitedHealthcare to pass drug rebates on to some customers - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

UnitedHealthcare to pass drug rebates on to some customers

Posted: Updated:

By The Associated Press

The nation's largest health insurer plans to give some customers a break at the pharmacy counter starting next year.

UnitedHelathcare said Tuesday that it will pass along rebates from drug manufacturers to customers when they fill a prescription. Those rebates could amount to a few bucks or several hundred dollars, depending on the drug.

Drugmakers frequently give rebates for prescription drugs, but those discounts rarely flow directly to people filling the prescriptions. How these rebates are used has become a growing source of debate in recent years as the cost of some treatments has soared.

The Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute says insurers and employers most often use the money to reduce overall plan costs.

The so-called point-of-sale rebates that UnitedHealthcare plans to provide could lower customer expenses like deductibles or co-insurance payments. Those costs in general have climbed steadily in recent years as employers look to pass more of the coverage expense along to people who use the prescriptions.

Separately, President Donald Trump also has proposed giving rebates directly to Medicare prescription drug customers.

UnitedHealthcare's rebate plan will apply to about 7 million people who have fully insured coverage through an employer. That's a relatively small slice of business for an insurer that covers more than 49 million people. The plan does not apply to the insurer's individual coverage or to insurance offered through most large employers.

UnitedHealthcare is the insurance arm of Minnetonka, Minnesota-based UnitedHealth Group Inc.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • 'Sesame Street' wants to clarify: Bert and Ernie aren't gay

    'Sesame Street' wants to clarify: Bert and Ernie aren't gay

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 2:19 PM EDT2018-09-19 18:19:35 GMT
    (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer, File). FILE - In this May 9, 2006, file photo, Ernie and Bert of “Sesame Street” pose in front of the Queen Mary II in the harbor of Hamburg, Germany. The producers of “Sesame Street” tweeted Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, that Bert ...(AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer, File). FILE - In this May 9, 2006, file photo, Ernie and Bert of “Sesame Street” pose in front of the Queen Mary II in the harbor of Hamburg, Germany. The producers of “Sesame Street” tweeted Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, that Bert ...
    The producers of 'Sesame Street' want you to know that Bert and Ernie are not, in fact, gay.More >>
    The producers of 'Sesame Street' want you to know that Bert and Ernie are not, in fact, gay.More >>
  • Florence death toll climbs to 37; Trump visits stricken area

    Florence death toll climbs to 37; Trump visits stricken area

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 2:19 PM EDT2018-09-19 18:19:28 GMT
    (AP Photo/Steve Helber). An unidentified family member carries Ruth Brady to safety at the Wilmington airport in Wilmington, N.C., Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. Brady was one of several family members rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew north of Wilming...(AP Photo/Steve Helber). An unidentified family member carries Ruth Brady to safety at the Wilmington airport in Wilmington, N.C., Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. Brady was one of several family members rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew north of Wilming...
    Food and water handouts are beginning in the North Carolina city of Wilmington, which is still mostly cut off by floodwaters from Hurricane Florence.More >>
    Food and water handouts are beginning in the North Carolina city of Wilmington, which is still mostly cut off by floodwaters from Hurricane Florence.More >>
  • Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart released from prison

    Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart released from prison

    Wednesday, September 19 2018 2:18 PM EDT2018-09-19 18:18:59 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File). FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2018, file photo, Elizabeth Smart arrives for a news conference in Salt Lake City. Smart says she’s been “reassured” the woman who helped kidnap her when she was 14 and stood by as she was sexually...(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File). FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2018, file photo, Elizabeth Smart arrives for a news conference in Salt Lake City. Smart says she’s been “reassured” the woman who helped kidnap her when she was 14 and stood by as she was sexually...
    Elizabeth Smart says the woman who helped kidnap her when she was 14 fell short on her apology.More >>
    Elizabeth Smart says the woman who helped kidnap her when she was 14 fell short on her apology.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms