LINCOLN, R.I., March 9, 2005 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- PharmaCare, a leading pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) and subsidiary of CVS Corporation (NYSE: CVS), has been chosen by the ISG VEBA Trust to administer the prescription drug program for thousands of retirees affected by the bankruptcies of four steel companies.
Over the past three years, during a crisis that threatened the collapse of the American steel industry, four companies -- LTV Steel, Bethlehem Steel, Acme Metals and Georgetown Steel filed for bankruptcy. As a result, thousands of retirees and their surviving spouses lost their healthcare benefits.
ISG acquired the assets of the liquidated companies and, in a joint effort with the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) in December 2002, they established a benefit trust fund called a Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Association (VEBA) to restore some coverage for nearly 85,000 retirees, surviving spouses and dependents who had lost their healthcare benefits.
"We're eager to help these individuals and families regain affordable access to their prescriptions," said Greg Weishar, PharmaCare's president and CEO. "ISG and the USWA have ensured that the retirees are cared for through this important fund and we look forward to being their partner in delivering quality prescription drug programs for their eligible members."
Today, the VEBA fund has accumulated sufficient funds to begin distribution of a prescription drug program. As the designated provider of pharmacy benefit management services for the VEBA, PharmaCare will manage the new program for enrolled beneficiaries starting March 1, 2005. Prescription drugs will be offered at a negotiated discount price, and the program will cover most prescriptions obtained at a participating pharmacy or through mail service, subject to the maximum benefit amount, annual deductible and coinsurance.
"PharmaCare was selected based on its competitive pricing, service capabilities and willingness to work with us to meet our members' needs," said Tom Duzak, USWA Director of Pensions and Benefits. "So many families and communities were devastated by this crisis, and we hope this program will help offset prescription drug costs and provide an added measure of economic security for retirees and their families in the wake of these unfortunate circumstances."
The drug benefits plan will target thousands of retired workers employed by steelmakers whose assets were acquired by ISG. Beneficiaries include retirees and surviving spouses from USWA bargaining units that were retired before specified dates and were eligible for healthcare benefits at that time.
PharmaCare is one of the largest pharmaceutical benefit management companies in the country. PharmaCare helps large employers, managed care organizations, insurance companies, unions and government agencies make safe, cost effective drug decisions for over 30 million Americans. The company's comprehensive PBM services include fully integrated, state-of-the art mail- service pharmacies and the largest specialty operation in the country. PharmaCare fills prescriptions at more than 56,800 retail pharmacies, located in all 50 states, and in nearly every city. PharmaCare is a wholly owned subsidiary of CVS Corporation (NYSE: CVS).
The VEBA is a trust fund established under the 2002 collective bargaining agreement between the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) and International Steel Group, Inc. (ISG) for the benefit of USWA represented retirees of four companies that had been acquired by ISG: LTV, Bethlehem Steel, Georgetown Steel and Acme Metal Products.