New York’s largest pharmacy benefit plan will expand coverage to include pharmacy hours for new employees.
The pharmacy benefit manager, the health care industry’s largest employer, announced on Tuesday that its pharmacy benefits manager, Health Savings Account Association, will expand pharmacy hours by 20% to 20 hours per week from 11.5 hours per day.
This is the first time that the company has expanded coverage in New York since January 2016, when it started offering coverage in its insurance marketplace.
The company’s insurance plans have had a patchwork of pharmacy benefits.
In 2016, the company launched its health insurance coverage, Health First, in partnership with the City of New York.
New York’s health insurance marketplaces, where employers are allowed to sell plans to employees, also include pharmacy benefits, including a drug benefit.
With the expansion, health savings accounts and other plans will be able to offer more coverage for their employees.
“New York has been a leader in helping small businesses provide quality healthcare to their employees and it is a shame that so many of these small businesses are struggling to find new ways to offer this essential service,” said Dan Fishel, president of Health Savings Accounts Association.
Under the new plan, a new pharmacy benefit will be available to all employees at the pharmacy benefits management company and will be offered by the pharmacy benefit management company for the first year.
Health Savings Accounts and other health plans have been a staple of the American health insurance system for decades.
There are over 50,000 health plans offering pharmacy benefits in New Jersey, according to the state Department of Health and Senior Services.
More than 9,000 pharmacy benefits plans are licensed in New England, including those in Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
As of February 2017, there were more than 23,000 pharmacies in New Hampshire that are owned and managed by Health Savings Associations, according the state.
While New York was one of the first states to allow employer-sponsored health insurance to cover pharmacists, the state’s pharmacy benefit plans were not always the best choice.
During the financial crisis, pharmacy benefits offered by companies like UnitedHealth Group and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield were cut or discontinued in some parts of the state, prompting more than 60% of New Hampshire pharmacies to close in 2015, according Topps-Sears data.
Some states, including Arizona, Hawaii and Oregon, also restricted the pharmacy-benefit plans to only cover prescriptions and medical devices, which has been an issue for pharmacies in the state for decades, according a 2015 report from the American Hospital Association.
“The decision to expand pharmacy benefit coverage to pharmacists in New york is a significant milestone in the evolution of the health insurance industry in the State of New Jersey,” said John Riggs, president and CEO of the New York Health Insurance Association.
“This new pharmacy benefits coverage will allow for the expansion of this important and crucial service to our state’s residents.”