Ohio Department of Insurance

A simple question at the pharmacy could unlock savings for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.

Under a little-known Medicare rule, they can pay a lower cash price for prescriptions instead of using their insurance and doling out the amount the policy requires. But only if they ask.

That is because pharmacists say their contracts with drug plans often contain "gag orders" forbidding them from volunteering this information.

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The federal government has rejected Ohio’s attempt to end the individual mandate for health care. The mandate is a staple of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Health care advocates say lawmakers should take this as a sign to work with Obamacare instead of against it.

prescription medicine bottles
David Kessler / Flickr Creative Commons

Ohio regulators are telling insurers not to enforce "gag orders" that stop pharmacists from telling customers about lower prices on prescription drugs.

Ohio is in a better position to handle President Trump’s decision to end federal cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies than some other states, according to officials at the Ohio Department of Insurance.

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About 11,000 enrollees in the Affordable Health Care Act program in 19 Ohio counties who recently found themselves without a single health insurance company to cover them are now getting some options.