Blue Cross and Blue Shield:

Change in Pharmacy Benefits Affects Federal Enrollees

T-HEHS-96-206: Published: Sep 5, 1996. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 1996.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO discussed the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's change in prescription drug benefits covered under its federal employee health plan. GAO noted that: (1) the Association's payments for prescription drugs increased about 21 percent between 1988 and 1995; (2) to manage costs, the Association contracted with two pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) to provide retail prescription and mail order drug services; (3) to offset high prescription costs, the Association began requiring enrollees insured under the Standard Option Plan and covered by Medicare part B to pay 20 percent of their prescription costs at retail pharmacies; (4) the Association also encouraged enrollees to utilize the least expensive mail order option by offering prescriptions free of charge; (5) the demand for mail-order prescriptions surpassed contractor and Association expectations, causing delays in prescription orders and customer calls; (6) critics of the benefit change believe that millions of dollars in prescription drug sales will be shifted away from retail drug stores to the mail order program; and (7) the Association estimated that its two PBM saved $505 million in 1995.

Mar 23, 2018

Mar 19, 2018

Mar 8, 2018

Feb 20, 2018

Feb 8, 2018

Feb 5, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Jan 23, 2018

Jan 17, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here