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February 22, 2016

Study: Waiving drug copays saves insurance, employers money in the long run

Geisinger Health System in central Pa. finds employees need less care when they get medications for free

Allowing employees with chronic conditions to get medication without copays actually saves money in the long term, a study from Geisinger Health System found.

As Penn Live reported, the central Pennsylvania health system conducted an experiment with its employee insurance program, eliminating copays for medications for chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.

That ounce of prevention really was worth a pound of cure: Employees needed less medical care, and Geisinger got a return of $1.80 for every dollar it spent on copays.

The copays weren't the only reason that Geisinger saved money. The health system, which also has an insurance arm, also embarked on efforts to encourage employees to take their medications as directed and better manage chronic illnesses.

More than 2,200 Geisinger employees, all of whom had chronic conditions, participated in the study for five years.

Read the full story here.

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