Published Online: Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Many small business in the United States are struggling to keep health insurance costs down for their employees, while still providing quality coverage. A recent study showed that an almost 50% rise in premiums over the past few years has made employee health care costs the number-1 concern for these businesses.

Medco Health Solutions Inc has announced the introduction of a new prescription drug plan that will emphasize the use of generic drugs in an attempt to help both employers and employees save money. Generics First is one of the nation's lowest- cost generic prescription drug programs for small to mid-size businesses. The plan is an insured product available only through Medco's insurance partners by way of their licensed agents and brokers.

Generics First costs almost half as much as traditional drug plans, with members receiving up to a 90-day supply of generic drugs for a $10 copay. Medco is launching the Generics First product with insurance leader Nationwide, which will offer the product under the name Nationwide Select. The plan also will offer its members 24-hour access to pharmacists and coverage for brand name and specialty drugs at a discounted rate.

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