Tufts Health Freedom Plan Members to Receive Rebates on Medications

First local plan to offer a broad based solution to reduce member out-of-pocket costs through its new rebate sharing program

June 18, 2018  

In an effort to lower members’ out-of-pocket costs, prevent barriers to care and improve medication adherence, Tufts Health Freedom Plan is pleased to begin passing on pharmacy rebates directly to commercial fully insured members on high-deductible Saver plan options beginning January 1, 2019. The rebates will be given at the time that the member fills their prescription at more than 68,000 participating pharmacies.

“As the cost of drugs continues to soar, providing transparency and finding new and innovative ways for our members to save is imperative,” said Gerri Vaughan, president of Tufts Health Freedom Plan.  “Many of our members are shocked when they are exposed to the high price of drugs. These point-of-sale rebates will help reduce the impact so our members can access the medications they need.” 

Prescription drug costs continuously represent a large portion of our nation’s overall  health care spending. According to a Milliman research report, in 2017, pharmacy spending accounted for 17 percent of total medical spend. 

Drug manufacturers pay rebates to pharmacy benefit managers, who then pass the rebates on to health plans. The rebate amount for a drug can vary widely depending on what type it is. Historically, Tufts Health Freedom Plan has used pharmacy rebates to reduce the premiums or administrative fees charged to employers, which, in turn, were passed along to employees in lower premium contributions.

“New drugs and therapies are hitting the market every day at unimaginable prices, creating a burden for our members,” said Claire Levesque, M.D., Tufts Health Freedom Plan chief medical officer. “Skipping medications could lead to untreated conditions, and higher medical costs down the road. The primary goal of this program is to keep our members healthy and to make sure they can get the treatment they need, when they need it.”

In addition to being offered across all Saver products, the point of sale rebates will also be available for Tufts Health Freedom Plan’s self- funded customers as an option.