An executive who helps manage federal employees’ own health benefits says increased transparency would be a great treatment for high prescription drug costs.
The executive, David Yoder, testified Wednesday at a House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee hearing. The subcommittee organized the hearing to look for ways to improve health care. Yoder was the only witness who spoke on behalf of participants in the commercial health insurance market.
Yoder is executive director for member care and benefits at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) federal employees’ program. The association is one of the major providers of coverage options through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
One of the issues Yoder addressed is reports that some health plans, and drug plans, use gag clauses, to keep pharmacists from telling customers about ways the customers might be able to cut what they pay out of pocket for medicine.
Yoder said that he does not think that any of the Blues, or any outside pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) administering drug plans on their behalf, use gag clauses.
“The BCBSA does not support the use of gag clauses,” Yoder said at the hearing, which was streamed live on the web. “Full transparency is critical.”