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South Carolina BlueCross BlueShield Cuts Generic Copayments in Half

April 02, 2007

Columbia, S.C. -- BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina has lowered copayments on generic drugs to $4 for its small group accounts and individual insurance, effective April 1. This is half the current copayment of $8.

The $4 copayment applies for all generic prescription drugs purchased at a retail network pharmacy. If a pharmacy’s usual retail price is lower than $4, then the BlueCross BlueShield member pays the lower of the two.

Copayment for 90-day supplies of generic drugs purchased through mail order will be reduced to $8 for group members only.

Approximately 57% of the drugs purchased by BlueCross members are generics. Generic medicines average 50% less than the cost of their brand-name counterparts.

"For years, we have encouraged all our members to consult with their doctors about using generic drugs. Now we’re making it even more affordable for individuals and members in small group accounts, which are particularly hard hit by rising healthcare costs. This is a great value to them," said Jim Deyling, BlueCross BlueShield marketing vice president.

BlueCross BlueShield is making the reduced copayments available to groups ranging from two to 50 employees and to individuals who hold a plan that includes a drug card option. The company estimates that these 50,000 members will save more than $2 million annually by using generics.

The new copayment does not apply to Medicare Part D members.

Members may go to My Pharmacy ManagerSM at www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com to see a list of brand-name drugs and their generic equivalents and pricing comparisons.

While some national retailers recently have announced reduced generic drug discounts, those have been limited to a smaller number of generics. BlueCross BlueShield is the first health insurer in South Carolina to make a similar announcement and is making its reduced copayment available on all generic drugs. There are more than 800 generic drugs.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

My Pharmacy Manager is a service mark of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

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