Blue Cross offers free generic drugs

RALEIGH Blue Cross and Blue Shield says it will drop co-payments from January 1 to June 30. The idea is to encourage policyholders to switch to cheaper medicines - saving them and the company money.

"We don't want folks to have to choose between paying for prescriptions and paying their bills," said Ron Smith with Blue Cross in a statement to the media. "We're facing tough times with this recession. To help our customers with costs and help them stick with their prescription regimens, we're reviving our generic copay waiver program. Based on data, we know these programs help people improve their health and control costs."

It's not the first time Blue Cross has done this. It says a similar program in 2006 saved policyholders about $50 million.

The savings won't be as big this time around. The company expects to save about $10 million because of higher limits.

The free generic program will not be offered to some groups were Blue Cross just administers coverage. That includes state and federal workers.

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