As medications become available in over-the-counter forms, such as Allegra (fexofenadine), Claritin (loratidine) and Zyrtec (ceterizine), the insurance plans no longer cover them, and members must purchase these out-of-pocket at the pharmacy or store without a prescription. This requirement has existed for years and serves to save the plans money, which in turn helps to keep premium increases as low as possible.
The plan benefits are not decreasing. However, it is not possible for the insurance plans to continue to cover every drug once it loses its patent and becomes available over the counter. If the plans continued to cover those medications indefinitely, the increase in premiums would be much higher than employee groups and employees see each year.