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Federal health care brings hefty fees for certain drugs

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MIAMI — Breast cancer survivor Ginny Mason was thrilled to get health coverage under the Affordable Care Act despite her preexisting condition. But when she realized her arthritis medication fell under a particularly costly tier of her plan, she was forced to switch to another brand.

Under the plan, her Celebrex would have cost $648 a month until she met her $1,500 prescription deductible, followed by an $85 monthly copayment.

Mason is one of the many Americans with serious illnesses who are indeed finding relatively low monthly premiums under President Obama’s law. But some have been shocked at how much their prescriptions are costing as insurers are sorting drug prices into a complex tier system and in some cases charging co-insurance rates as high as 50 percent.

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