NU Online News Service, July 2, 2003, 11:48 a.m. EDT – Humana Inc., Louisville, Ky., is introducing the RxAllowance pharmacy allowance program, a program that offers a new approach to prescription benefit coverage.

Instead of providing the same level of reimbursement for all covered drugs, the program divides drugs into four categories and pays a different allowance for drugs in each category.

Group A includes antibiotics, insulin and other drugs that can offset other types of medical costs within one year.

Group B includes cholesterol-lowering medications, heart medications and other drugs that take longer to offset other medical costs.

Group C includes allergy drugs and other drugs that might improve workplace productivity.

Group D includes drugs that meet cosmetic and other lifestyle needs, including acne drugs. Humana notes that it puts smoking cessation drugs in Group D, rather than in Group B.

Humana has been testing the program on its own employees and plans to begin making the program available to other employers in 2004.

About 15% of Humana employees chose the pharmacy allowance program this year, Humana says.