When it comes to health benefits, savings can come at a cost – meaning you have to put some money upfront and then hope for the best return on investment. It’s not often a cost-saving program comes with no strings attached. But, that’s precisely what MMIA Employee Benefits Program Manager Amanda Clark found in CRX International.
The Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority is a multi-employer, self-funded group of 88 cities and towns across the state. MMIA offers benefits to about 2,500 employees and their families, including the CRX International program.
Clark admits it seemed too good to be true: a way to save hundreds of thousands on ever-escalating drug prices with no startup costs. What she discovered was a genuine win-win for both the plan and participants.
That’s because CRX International safely sources prescription drugs outside the U.S. at a fraction of the cost. In addition, municipal employees who use the program get those zero-copay maintenance medications shipped to their door for free.
“Over the course of using this program, we’ve definitely saved a good amount of money,” Clark said. “Whenever somebody does use it, we see the savings.”
She estimates a savings of 60-70% on the medications, which equates to some $400,000 over the course of a year. But, that’s only part of the CRX International experience for Clark, who appreciates the transparency and responsiveness of America’s first International Prescription Service Provider.
“I feel like they’ve always been upfront and had good communications,” Clark said. “I just think it’s been an easy partnership.”
They made it really easy and straightforward.
CRX International ensured a smooth launch, which included the development of a custom website for participants – at no additional cost. They even coordinate with the pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) so that there is routine outreach to employees who can benefit from the program, but have not yet taken advantage of it.
CRX International prides itself on being the safest, most transparent IPSP out there. Sourced from Tier 1 countries designated by the U.S. Congress, medications are backed by a Quality Assurance Team of doctors and pharmacists as well as 20-plus years of experience in the industry.
“Personally and in the world of health plans, it’s kind of infuriating the way the pharmaceutical companies and industry have really created a disproportionate cost difference in medications. If you can get the drug for a lower cost, why shouldn’t we be able to do that?” Clark said. “Having a program that makes it more affordable for the participant and the plan – it just totally makes sense.”
I’ve seen prescription costs grow and grow over the last 15 years. Being able to find something that had actual savings – it seemed like a win-win.