Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders
94 Market Street. Salem, N.J. 08079

CONTACT: Deborah Turner-Fox, Clerk of the Board/Administrator

April 16, 2003


Faced with a projected 18% increase in prescription drug costs for its employees and their families, the Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced plans to change its pharmacy management service provider. Commencing May 1, 2003 Systemed, LLC a subsidiary of Medco Health Solutions, Inc. will become the county’s third party administrator for pharmacy management services.

Commerce National Insurance Company, the county’s new Broker of Records, recommended the change which is expected to save the county over $50,000 annually by eliminating the administrative fees currently charged to the county, by reducing the dispensing fees currently charged to the county, and by providing additional discounts and rebates for prescriptions filled by the employees. The employees will see no change in the benefit provided, as the coverage remains the same, as does the existing network of pharmacies in the plan.

Freeholder Director, Jack Kugler stated that " the county is looking at a variety of means to reduce the ever increasing costs associated with providing quality health benefits plans to its employees. Changes like this provide a win-win opportunity for both the county and the employee."

New prescription cards will be issued and employees have already begun to receive information regarding the change. County Employees will also benefit from this change in that additional education and communications concerning their prescription plan benefit will be provided by Systemed. It is also anticipated that further emphasis regarding the mail order prescription drug program will be provided as well. The mail order service permits employees to fill a three-month prescription while paying only one month’s co-pay.

"Commerce National Insurance Company has been pro-active in bringing cost savings opportunities such as these to the table for our evaluation. Any decision that we can make to save our taxpayer’s money and still provide quality health insurance coverage for our employees is a decision that I can support 100%." said Deputy Director, Chuck Sullivan.

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