Walgreen Co., CVS Caremark Corp. and Walmart are partnering with insurance companies on Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs).

Walgreens, CVS Caremark, Walmart, Medicare Part D, prescription drug plans, PDPs, Aetna, Coventry Health Care, Humana, Part D plan, preferred pharmacy network, pharmacy benefit, Aetna CVS plan, Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan, Josh Flum, retail pharmacy, John Agwunobi, doughnut hole, coverage gap

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Inside This Issue - News

Chains join insurers for new Medicare PDPs

October 24th, 2011

NEW YORK – Walgreen Co., CVS Caremark Corp. and Walmart are partnering with insurance companies on Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs).

Walgreens and Walmart are partnering with Coventry Health Care Inc., while CVS has teamed with Aetna. Walmart also again has a plan with ­Humana.

Coventry is joining with Walgreens, Walmart and Target Corp. to offer First Health Value Plus — billed as the lowest-premium, zero-dollar deductible Part D plan.

The plan is built on one of the nation’s broadest preferred pharmacy networks and offers lower co-payments for prescriptions filled at any one of the almost 14,000 combined Walgreens, Walmart and Target pharmacies. The preferred network pharmacy benefit design allows members to receive free Tier 1 formulary prescriptions (most generics and select branded drugs) before reaching the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole.” As a result, First Health Value Plus will potentially save Medicare beneficiaries hundreds of dollars annually and be a competitive alternative to the lowest-premium stand-alone Part D plan with a deductible.

The new Aetna CVS plan is available in 43 states and Washington, D.C., and offers Medicare beneficiaries outstanding value, according to the companies, along with access to experienced pharmacists and the convenience of shopping at a neighborhood CVS. The plan has a $26 monthly premium and no deductible for generic drugs. Enrollees who fill prescriptions at a CVS store as opposed to a non-preferred network pharmacy will have a $3 co-payment for preferred generic prescriptions, and save $10 on co-payments for non-preferred generic and preferred brand prescriptions.

“We are pleased to join with Aetna Medicare to offer Medicare beneficiaries a Part D plan that provides outstanding value along with the ease and convenience of filling their prescriptions at their neighborhood CVS pharmacy,” said CVS senior vice president of retail pharmacy Josh Flum. “This plan allows members to build a relationship with their CVS pharmacist along with the opportunity to realize savings on their prescriptions.”

For the second straight year, the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan has the lowest monthly premium offered nationwide, according to the two companies. Since its launch in 2010, more than 1 million seniors and people with disabilities have enrolled in the plan.

The monthly premium of $15.10 is the lowest in 2012 for a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan offered in all 50 states and Washington D.C., according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Co-payments are as low as $1 (in-store) or zero (mail order) after deductible for prescriptions from Walmart, Neighborhood Market or Sam’s Club pharmacies.

“We value affordability and are excited that our partnership with Humana can help Medicare beneficiaries get access to medications at a low cost,” said John Agwunobi, president of Walmart’s Health and Wellness division.