USC study shows that patients overpay for drug prescriptions 23 percent of the time
As a health economist, Karen Van Nuys had heard that it’s sometimes cheaper to pay cash at the pharmacy counter than to put down your insurance card and pay a copay.
So one day, she asked her pharmacist how much her prescription would cost if she didn’t use her health coverage and paid cash.
“And sure enough, it was [several dollars] below my copay,” Van Nuys said.
Van Nuys and her colleagues at the University of Southern California Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics decided to launch a first-of-its-kind study to see how often this happens. They found that customers overpaid for their prescriptions 23 percent of the time, with an average overpayment of $7.69 on those transactions. READ MORE