2021 Survey Shows Employees Are Willing to Change Jobs for Better Rx Coverage

According to the findings of a recent RxBenefits survey designed to better understand employee use of specialty medications and preferences around employer-provided Rx coverage, American employees are willing to leave their jobs due to challenges obtaining specialty medication coverage. The survey findings shed light on the various obstacles associated with rising specialty drug costs and utilization and affirm just how valuable a rich benefits package is to today’s employees.

Notably, the survey found that 73% of Americans are currently covered by an employer-provided health benefits plan with prescription drug coverage, with 80% of employees stating it is important that their current or future health benefits plan covers the cost of their or their family members specialty medications. Furthermore, respondents revealed that they would either involve their company’s HR department (16%) or leave their jobs (11%) in order to get coverage.

“In today’s market where talent acquisition is highly competitive, it’s clear that employers must go beyond simply providing a paycheck to attract and retain talent. Providing a rich benefits package while keeping costs in check is one way to achieve this, which ultimately results in a healthier bottom line and a happier workforce,” Statham said.

Of the 49% of respondents who have faced obstacles obtaining their specialty medications, the top challenge experienced was the overall high cost (24%), followed by 16% who did not receive coverage for their specialty medications under an employer-provided health plan.

“Specialty drug utilization continues to increase, and is showing no signs of slowing down,” said Bryan Statham, RxBenefits’ Chief Executive Officer. “In fact, specialty medication costs accounted for over 50% of the total pharmacy spend incurred in 2020.”

Additional survey findings include:

  • Americans ages 18-44 were more likely than those ages 45+ to say they would change jobs to get coverage if their employer-provided benefits did not cover the cost of their or a family member’s specialty medications (19% vs. 5%)
  • Americans ages 18-44 are more likely than those ages 55+ to say they would involve their company’s HR department to gain coverage (21% vs. 10%)

“The results of this survey further showcase just how important medication coverage is to today’s consumers,” said Mark Campbell, PharmD, RxBenefits’ Vice President of Clinical Solutions. “Knowing consumers are willing to change jobs to secure medication coverage, it’s imperative employers identify ways to reduce the cost of pharmacy benefits without reducing value and care for employees.”

With both the cost and utilization of specialty drugs increasing year over year, employers must evaluate which cost reduction methods best suit the needs of their plan and its members.

To learn more about how to help your employer clients achieve a competitive benefit offering that attracts and retains talent, download our free Clinical Strategies Playbook, and explore best practices and strategies for managing specialty drugs and their associated costs.


This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by the Harris Poll on behalf of RxBenefits between June 24-28, 2021 and included more than 2,000 adults ages 18+.

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