Consumer Confidential: They’re called ‘co-pay accumulators,’ and they’re a way insurers make you pay more for meds

Mary Hawley takes the widely used drug Humira for her rheumatoid arthritis. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year, but for nearly a decade Hawley has been assisted with discount coupons from the drug’s manufacturer, AbbVie.

 “You pay $5 max,” she told me. “They pay whatever is left over.”

Another plus: The coupons would be applied to Hawley’s $6,800 insurance deductible, meaning her responsibility for out-of-pocket costs typically would be met before summer.

That’s changed — for Hawley, 62, and for millions of other people who depend on drugmakers’ co-pay-assistance programs to afford costly meds.

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