Aetna and CVS Intend to Form Strategic Alliance to Help Medicare Beneficiaries Make Decisions on New Prescription Drug Plans; Alliance Would Provide Information on New Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

Thursday, July 7, 2005

 

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 7, 2005--Aetna (NYSE:AET) and CVS Corporation (NYSE:CVS) today announced they intend to form a strategic alliance to make helpful information about the new Medicare prescription drug program readily available to Medicare beneficiaries in their communities. Aetna and CVS plan to develop programs to help consumers understand their new prescription drug coverage options and make better, more informed decisions.

The new Medicare Part D prescription drug plans offer Medicare beneficiaries an unprecedented level of support to help meet their prescription drug needs, but because this is a new program, beneficiaries will have questions about their options. As a result of the Aetna and CVS alliance, they will find clear and simple information at their local pharmacy and in their communities, where they can easily access it.

"Aetna has announced our intention to offer the new Medicare prescription drug plans in all 50 states, and to more than double the states where we offer our Medicare Advantage plans," said Ron Williams, president of Aetna. "We're committed to providing Medicare-eligible beneficiaries with simple, straightforward information to make more informed decisions, and our partnership with CVS will make this information readily available right at their local pharmacies."

"Our goal at CVS is to make it easier for Medicare beneficiaries to obtain access to the new Medicare prescription drug coverage," commented Tom Ryan, chairman, president, and CEO of CVS Corporation. "We want to reach out to Medicare beneficiaries and help them understand how the new Medicare prescription drug benefit can provide real savings on prescription drugs and how to use it most effectively."

The joint outreach programs would include informational sessions in local communities to help Medicare beneficiaries understand the Medicare Modernization Act, the prescription drug plan, and the new benefits and services available to them through Aetna and CVS. In addition to community outreach, senior consumers would be provided information in stores about Aetna's prescription drug plan options.

Details of the programs that Aetna and CVS plan to create for Medicare beneficiaries will be available after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issues final guidance on such alliances. Aetna filed an application to provide Part D plans to individuals and employers in all regions designated by CMS, except the territories. Plan bids were filed on June 6, 2005. CMS expects to award contracts in early September and CMS approved Part D drug plans will take effect January 1, 2006.

As one of the nation's leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability and long-term care benefits, Aetna puts information and helpful resources to work for its approximately 14.4 million medical members, 12.8 million dental members, 9.0 million pharmacy members and 14.0 million group insurance members to help them make better informed decisions about their health care and protect their finances against health-related risks. Aetna provides easy access to cost-effective health care through a nationwide network of more than 672,000 health care professionals, including approximately 400,000 primary care and specialist doctors and 4,084 hospitals. For more information, please visit www.Aetna.com. (Figures as of March 31, 2005)