Experts who say that educating consumers will be the next method used to curb escalating health care costs often point to the success of tiered formularies, which have made patients more aware of the costs of medications. As the public's understanding and acceptance of formularies might suggest, educating consumers and cost shifting are terms that are often linked, though it remains to be seen just how far this carrot-and-stick approach can go.
The Kaiser Family Foundation's Employer Health Benefits survey shows that the use of tiered formularies has risen over the last two years, growing from 29 percent of covered workers in 2000 to 57 percent in 2002.
Three tiers now dominate benefit design
Figures do not add to 100 percent because other responses are not shown.
SOURCE: EMPLOYER HEALTH BENEFITS, 2002 ANNUAL SURVEY, KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION, MENLO PARK, CALIF.