Health Insurance Costs: Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross Increase Prescription Drug Costs

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Medication is getting more expensive. And having insurance won't necessarily help you.

A number of insurers, including Anthem Blue Cross and Aetna, are reclassifying certain prescription drugs in a way that forces patients to pay much more out of pocket, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Some medications, including drugs used to treat cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis, now costs hundreds of dollars more than they used to -- expenses that patients have to cover, in addition to their insurance premiums, the LAT reports.

It's all part of a larger trend of health care costs draining more and more from people's wallets. A growing number of insurance companies aren't offering the same kind of generous coverage that they used to, according to a recent story at NPR.

Co-pays and deductibles are rising, and for many people, necessary medicine and procedures are coming to monopolize the budget.

That's a problem at a time when more than 12 million Americans are out of work, and the competition for available jobs means employers have little incentive to raise anyone's salary. With inflation climbing faster than most people's wages, a growing number of Americans are finding themselves unable to afford basic things like food and transportation.

Meanwhile, the high price tag of health care in this country doesn't necessarily mean Americans get the best medical attention. According to a recent report from the Commonwealth Fund, although health care costs more in the U.S. than in any other industrialized nation, the quality of American care isn't significantly better than what you would find in other wealthy countries.

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