The Employer's Guide Blog for Overseeing PBMs

The Definition of Oversee: to watch over and direct (an undertaking, a group of workers, etc.) in order to ensure a satisfactory outcome or performance.

Tuesday Tip of the Week: When the carrier, PBM and ASO all share the same parent company you are fully insured

Well, I guess it depends on why you moved away from the fully-insured funding option in the first place. There are several pros for self-funding chief among them include:

1) More Control
2) Better Reporting
3) Improved Pricing
3) Formulary
4) Better Health Outcomes
5) Elimination of Rebates to Carriers
6) More Transparency
With that said, I am asking plan sponsors and their independent consultants to consider the following question.
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A self-insured pharmacy benefit plan should provide better cost control, transparency and technology as well as information and reporting. When your PBM is reluctant to share valuable information to help you manage and evaluate performance are you really self-insured? Health insurers may combine aspects of the two funding options to subsidize pricing (cost-shifting). 
For companies with a carved in program, there may be concerns about changing to a carved-out program due to a perception that additional time and resources will be needed, but I have seen that on a day to day basis, there is little difference in having a separate pharmacy program. The farther removed you are from the downsides of a fully-insured pharmacy benefit plan the better off your group will be.

Tyrone Squires, MBA, CPBS

I am the proud founder and managing director of TransparentRx, a fiduciary-model PBM based in Las Vegas, Nevada. We help health plan sponsors reduce pharmacy spend, by as much as 50%, without cutting benefits or shifting costs to employees.

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