KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Study Highlights Cost Savings Of Generic Drugs

Consumer Reports offers new analysis that finds not all patients realize they can save big by shopping around for drugs. Meanwhile, two outlets look at insurance coverage issues for couples.

Reuters: Prescription Drugs Cost Least At Costco And Most At CVS: Study
Some of the most popular prescription drugs that recently became available in generic form are sold at the lowest prices at Costco and at the highest prices at CVS Caremark, according to an analysis by Consumer Reports. Failing to comparison shop for drugs -- such as generic Lipitor to lower cholesterol or generic Plavix to thin the blood -- could result in overpaying by $100 a month or even more, depending on the drug, the report said (Sherman, 3/28).

Kaiser Health News: Q&A: Can They Do That? Rules For Pricing Spousal Coverage
Consumer columnist Michelle Andrews answers a reader's question about employers who charge a different premium to cover a spouse who has coverage available through his or her own job (Andrews, 3/29).

The Medicare Newsgroup: Fact/Fiction: Medicare Costs More For Same-Sex Married Couples
As the Supreme Court begins to review the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), news outlets have been reporting that DOMA increases both private and federal health care costs for same-sex couples. Because DOMA prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, these couples are thus excluded from the same benefits offered to heterosexual married couples in programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security (Vahlkamp, 3/28).

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