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PDFWAC 284-43-5110

Cost-sharing for prescription drugs.

(1) A carrier and health plan unreasonably restrict the treatment of patients if an ancillary charge, in addition to the plan's normal copayment or coinsurance requirements, is imposed for a drug that is covered because of one of the circumstances set forth in either WAC 284-43-5080 or 284-43-5100. An ancillary charge means any payment required by a carrier that is in addition to or excess of cost-sharing explained in the policy or contract form as approved by the commissioner. Cost-sharing means amounts paid directly to a provider or pharmacy by an enrollee for services received under the health benefit plan, and includes copayment, coinsurance, or deductible amounts.
(2) When an enrollee requests a brand name drug from the formulary in lieu of a therapeutically equivalent generic drug or a drug from a higher tier within a tiered formulary, and there is not a documented clinical basis for the substitution, a carrier may require the enrollee to pay for the difference in price between the drug that the formulary would have required, and the covered drug, in addition to the copayment. This charge must reflect the actual cost difference.
(3) When a carrier approves a substitution drug, whether or not the drug is in the carrier's formulary, the enrollee's cost-sharing for the substitution drug must be adjusted to reflect any discount agreements or other pricing adjustments for the drug that are available to a carrier. Any charge to the enrollee for a substitution drug must not increase the carrier's underwriting gain for the plan beyond the gain contribution calculated for the original formulary drug that is replaced by the substitution.
(4) If a carrier uses a tiered formulary in its prescription drug benefit design, and a substitute drug that is in the formulary is required based on one of the circumstances in either WAC 284-43-5080 or 284-43-5100, the enrollee's cost sharing may be based on the tier in which the carrier has placed the substitute drug.
(5) If a carrier requires cost-sharing for enrollees receiving an emergency fill as defined in WAC 284-170-470, then issuers must disclose that information to enrollees within their policy forms.
(6) For individual and small group plans, if a substitution is granted, the carrier must treat the drug as an essential health benefit, including by counting any cost-sharing towards the plan's annual limitation on cost-sharing and towards any deductible.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060, 48.18.140, and 48.43.510. WSR 17-03-087 (Matter No. R 2016-22), § 284-43-5110, filed 1/12/17, effective 2/12/17. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060, 48.43.510. WSR 16-19-086 (Matter No. R 2016-08), § 284-43-5110, filed 9/20/16, effective 10/21/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060. WSR 16-14-106 (Matter No. R 2016-11), § 284-43-5110, filed 7/6/16, effective 8/6/16. WSR 16-01-081, recodified as § 284-43-5110, filed 12/14/15, effective 12/14/15. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060, 48.02.062, 48.18.140, 48.43.525, 48.44.050, 48.44.440(2), 48.44.460(2), 48.46.200, and 48.46.510. WSR 12-21-019 (Matter No. R 2012-03), § 284-43-819, filed 10/8/12, effective 11/8/12.]
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