The State of Utah has created a novel program to lower drug prices for its public sector employees: send them to Mexico. For one state employee, it is a difference of $450 per months versus $2,400 per month. The math is easy. What’s going on?
The Utah Program
Created in 2018 and dubbed the “right to shop” law by Republican Norm Thurston, the Public Employees Health Program makes it available for individuals who use a drug on a list of about a dozen medications where the state can generate material savings. Out of 160,000 state and local public employees covered by the insurer, less than 400 are eligible according to Chet Loftis, Managing Director, reports US News.
Apparently with such great cost savings, Utah’s public employee-focused state insurance plan can cover the trip (e.g. the flight to San Diego and a shuttle ride to Tijuana). In total, the program saves tens of thousands of dollars, and for each individual, it makes the offers them a way to remain healthier by actually being able to afford prescribed drugs.
Glass Half Full?
Follow the link to the source and read about a couple Utah State employees that are greatly benefiting from this new Utah law. It is making a difference—they can afford what in some cases are drugs, such as stelara, that are above the reach economically. On the other hand, critics such as Public Citizen contend that this is merely a “band aid” for a terribly broken system in great need of reform.
Call to Action: What do you think? Tell us in the comments or reach out directly!