Department of Veterans Affairs January 5, 2016 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Copayments for Medications Beginning January 1, 2017
Document Number: 2015-33052
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2016-01-05
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its regulations concerning copayments charged to certain veterans for medication required on an outpatient basis to treat non-service connected conditions. VA currently charges non-exempt veterans either $8 or $9 for each 30-day or less supply of medication, and under current regulations, a calculation based on the prescription drug component of the Medical Consumer Price Index would be used to determine the copayment amount in future years. This rulemaking would eliminate the formula used to calculate future rate increases and establish three classes of medications, identified as Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. These tiers would be defined further in the rulemaking and would be distinguished in part based on whether the medications are available from multiple sources or a single source, with some exceptions. Copayment amounts would be fixed and would vary depending upon the class of medication. The following copayment amounts would be effective January 1, 2017: $5 for a 30-day or less supply of a Tier 1 medication, $8 for a 30-day or less supply of a Tier 2 medication, and $11 for a 30-day or less supply of a Tier 3 medication. For most veterans these copayment amounts would result in lower out-of-pocket costs, thereby encouraging greater adherence to prescribed medications and reducing the risk of fragmented care that results when veterans use multiple pharmacies to fill their prescriptions.
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