This article accompanies HR Problem Solvers for 2010 .
The impetus behind Rx Mole, a free website designed to help workers lower their healthcare costs, lies in a quotation from 19th-century American writer Albert Pike found on the site: "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."
Bryan Jackson, site HR manager for Terre Haute, Ind.-based plastic-film manufacturer Applied Extrusion Technologies Inc., launched the site in May 2009 in conjunction with local pharmacies after his company switched to a high-deductible health plan with a health-savings account, and employees began complaining that they couldn't get credible information on prescription drugs without spending a lot of time searching.
While the original website was intended to help employees find the cheapest prices for prescription drugs, once the project began to take shape, it was evident that the real value for members was in information sharing on "cash price" for drugs and in developing relationships with local pharmacists, Jackson says.
The site is hosted by a third party, not the company, in an effort to provide a layer of privacy protection for employees who use it. "We want it to be open and transparent," Jackson says. "The more information people put in, the better off everyone will be. Employees at other organizations can use it; people who don't have insurance can use it."
The site is now in its fourth iteration and eventually will have a mobile-phone application. "It's all for the greater good," says Jackson. "We're not looking to make a lot of money ... . We just want to help out our employees, as well as employers who struggle with healthcare costs." Albert Pike would appreciate that.
Applied Extrusion Technologies Inc., Terre Haute, Ind.
Read all of the 2010 HR Problem Solvers.