CMS Walks ‘Tightrope’ With Generic-Coverage Proposal for Exchange Plans

Tucked into the annual payment rule for Affordable Care Act exchange plans is a proposal that, if finalized, would upend the way health plans and PBMs go about designing formularies — if only for one business line. Already, industry groups are weighing in to both applaud and criticize the concept of requiring ACA marketplace plans to put only generic drugs on their lowest cost-sharing tiers.

“There will be legitimate points to be made on multiple sides of this, and I think that this is going to be a very delicate tightrope that is going to have to be walked,” says Massey Whorley, a principal at Avalere Health.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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