Among the most troubling questions facing consumers as they shop for insurance under the Obama administration’s new health care law is whether the plans will cover the drugs they take — and how much they will have to pay for them.
But with less than two weeks remaining until enrollment opens on Oct. 1, the answers are still elusive and anxiety is growing for consumers whose well-being depends on expensive medications.
States running the marketplaces where the plans will be offered have not released details about which drugs will be covered. Insurers have said little about how much consumers will be asked to contribute or what types of restrictions will be placed on certain medicines. Of the few states that have revealed specifics, some have plans that will require patients to contribute as much as 50 percent of the cost of the most expensive drugs.
“I’ve got to be honest and say I’m a little bit nervous,” said Jessica Thomas, a mental health counselor in North Carolina who takes the drug Tecfidera to treat her multiple sclerosis.
Ms. Thomas, 34, has been enrolled for two years in a program for people with expensive medical conditions that is run by North Carolina. But that program is ending in December, and she must select a new plan in the state marketplace. At the top of her mind is how much she will have to pay for Tecfidera, which costs more than $4,000 a month. “I think that’s the hard thing right now is that it’s...
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