A formulary, sometimes called a preferred drug list, is a list of drugs covered by a prescription drug plan. More than 90% of respondents have a preferred drug list for brand medications. One hundred percent of employers with more than 20,000 lives had a preferred drug list, compared to 90% of smaller employers (p<.05). Some plans place nonpreferred drugs on a higher cost-sharing tier while others do not cover them at all. Eighty-four percent of employers reported having at least three tiers as shown in Table 4, with the most common being a three-tier design (59% of employers).
Closed formularies were reported by less than 5% of employers, having been replaced in more recent years by formularies with multiple tiers that require members to pay more for nonpreferred drugs (Figure 9).
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