Priority Health uses Cost Estimator to cut prescription costs for Medicare members

(Grand Rapids, Mich. – June 25, 2018)  Today, Priority Health announced that its Cost Estimator now enables Medicare Advantage members to access real-time cost information about prescription drugs, helping members pay less by switching to a lower priced alternative, using a preferred pharmacy or opting for mail order.

"With the price of prescriptions continuing to increase at alarming rates, we feel it's imperative to help our members understand their options and navigate their costs," said Nathan Foco, senior director of market research and consumer analytics for Priority Health. "But it's not enough to provide general costs. The real power in informing members is our ability to personalize it to them – specific to their location, prescription and benefits – to help them make truly informed decisions about their costs."

Prices for the most commonly prescribed brand-name drugs for seniors have increased an average of 60 percent since 2013. For the first time, Cost Estimator will enable Medicare Advantage members to find out what they will pay for some prescriptions and help them determine how to pay less by switching to a lower priced alternative, using a preferred pharmacy or opting for mail order.

More than 6,000 prescriptions are available for Medicare beneficiaries to research through Cost Estimator, including pills, chewables and capsule drugs. When a medication is priced through the tool, members have the option to view more affordable alternatives and see exact costs at preferred pharmacies. For members who require some of the most expensive drugs on the market, Cost Estimator could help them find huge savings.  

Cost Estimator launched in 2015, providing Priority Health individual and commercial members instant access to cost information by facility for hundreds of health care procedures based on their individual health plan. Utilization has steadily increased to 10 percent of eligible commercial members currently using Cost Estimator, which exceeds the industry average of 2 to 3 percent. Earlier this year, some of the most searched and billed procedures were added to Cost Estimator. Since launching in 2015, Cost Estimator resulted in shared savings of more than $7 million. Today, more than 6,000 prescriptions are available to research through Cost Estimator. 

Members can access the tool by logging into their MyHealth account, then choosing the Cost Estimator tile. 

About Priority Health:

With over 30 years in business, Priority Health is the second largest health plan in Michigan, offering a broad portfolio of health benefits options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Serving more than a million members each year, and offering a network that includes 97 percent of primary care physicians in Michigan, Priority Health continues to be recognized as a leader for quality, customer service, transparency and product innovation. Priority Health is the smart choice for people seeking affordable, quality health insurance.