Colorado Health Insurers Split Over Pill Cutting as Cost-Curbing Mechanism
Some health insurers have begun suggesting that patients consider splitting pills in an effort to reduce health care costs, while other insurers are worried about the liabilities and safety associated with such measures, the Denver Post reports. Patients whose doctors prescribe a higher-dose pill often can save money. For example, a 30-day supply of a 40-milligram pill costs about the same as a 30-day supply of 20-milligram pills. Doctors are supposed to write such prescriptions only for pills that can be split safely, the Post reports.
In Colorado, United Healthcare has started telling patients taking certain medications that they can split their pills and also offers them a pill splitter at no cost. Cigna HealthCare, however, does not support splitting pills, citing a study that even pharmacists were able to properly split pills only 32% of the time. Members of Kaiser Permanente Colorado pay the same amount for whole pills or ones they could split in half (Brown, Denver Post, 4/6).
Please note: The Kaiser Family Foundation is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.