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From Drug Benefit News - Although prescription drug costs for both traditional and specialty medications continued to increase last year, Express Scripts Holding Co. said it limited the increase of per-person overall spending to 3.8% in 2016. According to its recently released 2016 Drug Trend Report, that’s down from the 5.2% increase in spending that the PBM’s clients experienced in 2015. Read more

From Health Plan Week - Premiums for individual non-subsidized health coverage increased 22% between 2016 and 2017 — from an average of $321 a month to an average of $393, according to a report from online insurance seller eHealth, Inc. Read more

From Health Plan Week - In an effort to appease their Democratic counterparts — and woo at least eight of them across the aisle — a pair of Senate Republicans have proposed an Affordable Care Act replacement that would give states the option of keeping the ACA intact. States also could opt to cover their uninsured population with a federally funded health savings account (HSA) combined with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). But industry observers… Read more

From Medicare Advantage News - The latest budget estimate from the California Department of Finance concluded that the state’s Coordinated Care Initiative, which includes the CMS-backed Cal MediConnect (CMC) duals demonstration, is not cost effective, meaning CCI will officially end in a year. But the Dept. of Health Care Services (DHCS) this month said it remains committed to the demo and plans to make certain modifications to continue being able to coordinate medical, behavioral health,… Read more

From Drug Benefit News - Avalere Health recently unveiled a deal that should help Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BI) and Eli Lilly and Co. construct value-based deals with payers for one of their diabetes drugs. As the U.S. health care system transitions from a fee-for-service to a fee-for-value system, such contracts are becoming more popular. The arrangement is specific to the BI/Lilly diabetes drug Jardiance (empagliflozin), clarifies Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere, an Inovalon Holdings Inc.… Read more

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