Drug spending rose faster under ACA plans than other health plans

Health plans created under the ACA saw prescription drug spending increase at more than three times the rate of commercial health plans and most federal plans in 2016, according to a new report from Express Scripts.

Here are four report findings, which are based on data from health plans the company manages.

1. Year-over-year spending per person for individual insurance plans sold on ACA exchanges increased 14 percent in 2016, according to the report. Rising drug prices and utilization trends drove this increase.

2. Express Scripts said high-cost specialty drugs used to treat chronic conditions, like HIV, accounted for almost half of total dug spending for exchange plans.

3. Per-capital spending for other commercial plans rose 3.8 percent last year, despite an 11 percent increase in list prices for brand name medications, according to Express Scripts.

4. Drug spending for Medicare plans increased 4.1 percent in 2016 and spending for Medicare plans increased by 5.5 percent, according to the report.

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