Comparing prescription drug benefits offered on the Covered California state-run exchange is expected to be easier during the 2015 open enrollment than it was in 2014, thanks to the availability of more information. A new state law requiring all plans to use a standard formulary seeks to vastly improve upon that shopping experience, but those changes won’t actually take effect for at least another three years.

Only some of the health plans posted HIX formularies on their websites last year at this time and a lack of standardization made it difficult for prospective enrollees to make sense of the lists. Now there are links to all 10 plans’ formularies, though each one is formatted differently. That “may confuse consumers who are not used to looking at details such as tiering and prior authorization and step therapy controls,” wrote Chris Lewis, a market analyst for HealthLeaders-InterStudy, in a recent blog.

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