NU Online News Service, Aug. 26, 2004, 2:22 p.m. EDT

Great-West Healthcare, Greenwood Village, Colo., has started a free program to tell members of employer-sponsored health plans about the true cost of health care.[@@]

The new “Driver’s Ed” program provides a member newsletter, a poster, a payroll envelope insert and a link to a Web site that stores past and current editions of the member newsletter.

The newsletter, “The Driver’s Seat,” covers the cost of health care, steps consumers can take to help control overall costs, and steps consumers can take cut their own out-of-pocket costs.

The campaign points out that health plan members might be able to save an average of $50 per month by choosing generic drugs over brand name drugs. The campaign also points out that U.S. employers spend an average of more than $6,000 per employee per year for health benefits.

Great-West tested the program on 125 clients this summer.

Great-West is a unit of the Power Corporation of America, Montreal.