First, the one-two punch that brought us down…
The December 2007 recession contributed to a dramatic rise in unemployment in the United States, leaving many people without benefits and – as a result – proper medical care. Floridians were hit particularly hard as the state went from a 3.8% to a 12% rate of unemployment over the last decade. Combine that with the BP oil spill on April 20, 2011 and you’ve got declining incomes in the Southern United States due to lack of tourism – the prime economic-boosting industry in the state. In short, those that were working, were working harder for less money.
Meanwhile, the health care industry is faced with an increase in chronic conditions among adults – partially due to individuals lacking the ability to afford preventative care – resulting in greater spending by employers trying to cover the ongoing costs in the form of benefits.
With both insured and uninsured Floridians being unable to take preventative steps in their own health and well-being, this lack of care eventually translates into more doctor’s visits, hospitalization and an overall increase in both physical problems and medical costs – Costs which could have been prevented had that patient been able to get the prescription drugs that they needed before the problem escalated.
Making a comeback in the fifth round…
What people may not know is that from 1999-2005, America saw a drop in the cost of prescriptions due to generic drugs being introduced on the market and insurance companies offering tiered co-pays. Our overall spending went from 18% to 6%.
Then, In 2006, that rate went back up to 9% due to designer drugs and better medications to replace those with potentially harmful long-term side-effects. More expensive, yes, but still better overall because now we have the potential of more effective, generic drugs available at a fraction of the cost.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 80% of drugs currently have a generic equivalent. If that’s the case, why aren’t we using them?
This brings us back to what we’ve been saying all along – the BetterRxCard discount drug program provides an alternative to high-cost drugs, and Equivameds can help find the generic equivalent to otherwise expensive designer medications. Now, employers, the insured and the uninsured can afford benefits that include better quality preventative drugs.
Reduced Spending = Preventative Care = Healthier Floridians
See the trend?