Why Is My Drug Plan Co-Pay So Small?

For over 20 years its remained at 35 cents (Canadian!) What’s the point? It’s hardly a disincentive if that is indeed the purpose of a co-pay. It would almost seem that the accounting required to collect and report the co-pay would cost more than 35 cents per script. If they made it a dollar, I’m sure nobody would flinch. What’s the point of asking me for chump change?

No idea how Canadian insurance works, but all I can say is I’d like to trade. My co-pay for prescriptions is $25 per month’s supply.

Up until very recently, my mother would have been even more eager to trade - she was in an odd gap situation for about a year before Social Security benefits were available, and her co-pay was 100% - ie: she had no prescription coverage at all for that time.

Hard to say without knowing more about your plan. Do you get it through work, and do you belong to a strong union, for instance?

Yes, I am an auto worker. What I don’t understand is why it is SO low. It must cost more than 35 cents to collect the co-pay. Is the purpose of a co-pay to make one think twice about getting unnecessary prescriptions? Or is it to help defer costs? Either way it seems too small to be worth it.

Who pays your insurance, or who runs it? The government of Ontario, of Canada, or is it Toyota?

I think what devee is asking is why not either make it completely free or make it cost a non-trivial amount? My WAG is that it started off as 35c when 35c was a significant amount of money and it’s never been increased.

I work for Ford and the carrier is Green Shield so it is a (damn good) private plan. The 35 cent co-pay has been in effect for 20 years that I know of with no increase. What I am curious about is the reason for a co-pay. It’s such a piddling amount so why bother? Or why not increase it tenfold? It’s like when you see something at a yard sale for a dime. You wonder why someone went to the trouble to make up a price tag, move the item to the lawn, then make change for a quarter. If you can’t even buy a cup of coffee for your trouble, up the price or give it away.

Exactly! (I can’t recall when 35 cents was ever significant)