CVS/pharmacy Helps Seniors Find the Right Medicare Part D Plan

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Nov 21, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- Committed to helping seniors find the right Medicare prescription drug plan at the most affordable cost, CVS/pharmacy has launched an online Medicare Plan Comparison Tool. Designed to help millions of eligible seniors find the Medicare Part D plan that best suits their needs, the user-friendly CVS/pharmacy Medicare Plan Comparison Tool is part of CVS/pharmacy's ongoing efforts to educate seniors about their Medicare Part D options.

During the six week open-enrollment period that ends December 31, seniors will be presented with Medicare Part D plans offering better value, a larger number of covered medications, and solutions that decrease the impact of the doughnut hole -- or gap -- in coverage. Yet, with increased options comes potential for confusion. Through the CVS/pharmacy Medicare Plan Comparison tool and a myriad of additional resources, CVS/pharmacy is continuing its efforts to educate and inform seniors about the drug benefit plans available.

"Medicare Part D can greatly benefit seniors who are able to make an informed choice. Since Medicare Part D was introduced, we have seen seniors achieve cost savings on their drug therapies. We believe that improving the affordability of prescription drugs translates into a healthier consumer as they increase overall drug utilization and improve their compliance with existing therapies," said Matt Leonard, RPh, Senior Vice President of Pharmacy, CVS/pharmacy. "With even more plan choices and changes in existing plan coverage and costs for 2007, CVS/pharmacy is in an ideal position to take a proactive role in educating seniors to make the best choices for their health. It is all part of our vision to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives."

Accessible through and in CVS/pharmacy stores, the CVS/pharmacy Medicare Plan Comparison Tool helps seniors find the Medicare prescription drug plan that best suits their individual needs. Current medications and preferences regarding deductibles and plan limitations are used to determine which plans are identified.

A simple step-by-step process guides seniors through the decision making process. After entering basic information like the prescription drug coverage they currently have, their location, and all their prescription medications from a pull-down menu, seniors are guided through a series of options:

* Seniors can indicate whether they prefer to find plans with the lowest annual cost or find plans that cover all current medications with the fewest coverage limitations even if it means paying higher annual costs. * The tool also allows Medicare beneficiaries to make choices about medications in the gap, as well as informs the seniors if they may qualify for public assistance. * Lastly, seniors are presented with a list of the top plans that best meet their needs, including information on estimated annual cost, monthly premium, deductible, limitations on medications and gap coverage. The plans can be compared by plan cost or drug cost.

Additional outreach efforts by CVS/pharmacy during open enrollment include:

* Medicare Tuesdays, information sessions being held in every CVS/pharmacy each Tuesday until December 19th. Medicare experts will be available to offer seniors personalized advice. More than 1 million seniors attended Medicare Tuesday events during the last open enrollment period. * Medicare Information Centers in all CVS/pharmacy locations that include a 2007 CVS Plan Decision Guide, brochures from national and local plan providers, information about the "Extra Help" program from the Social Security Administration, and a list of all Medicare Part D plans available in the state. * CVS pharmacists will place phone calls to more than 600,000 seniors to encourage them to take advantage of Medicare Part D and Social Security's "Extra Help" benefits. * CVS pharmacy staff will conduct education seminars at senior centers around the country. During the last open enrollment, more than 250,000 seniors attended CVS/pharmacy seminars. About CVS/pharmacy