CVS/pharmacy and National Council on Aging Help Seniors to Find the Right 'Prescription' for Medicare Savings
To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/cvsmedicarepartd/35404/
"This year, seniors can expect to see changes in most Medicare Part D plans affecting monthly premiums, co-payments and even which drugs are covered," said Dave Purdy, vice president, pharmacy operations, CVS/pharmacy. "The good news is that those eligible for Medicare Part D can see significant savings and receive better coverage if they take the time to review their plans, and change their plan if appropriate. The CVS/pharmacy Medicare Part D Calculator is extremely useful in helping seniors navigate the maze of monthly premiums, deductibles, prescription co-payments and covered drugs in order to find the right plan for them."
In addition to providing an online resource, CVS/pharmacy has been educating seniors on the importance of reviewing plans through outreach efforts with NCOA, including senior center visits, direct mail and in-store communications. CVS pharmacists have been trained on the Medicare Part D plan changes, and are available to advise seniors based on their unique prescription history and predicted changes for 2009.
Data from CVS/pharmacy reveals that 50% of a sample of 2008 Medicare Part D beneficiaries would have saved over $250 a year on total drug costs if they had chosen a plan that better fit their situation.
"We urge people who qualify for the prescription drug benefit to consider their options and realize the potential to save," said Stuart Spector, Senior Vice President, NCOA. "Prescription drug coverage can make a significant difference in the health and lives of people with Medicare, especially those with limited income and resources who may qualify for the extra help."
The six-week Medicare Part D enrollment period lasts from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31. When evaluating plans, CVS/pharmacy and NCOA recommend three factors for consideration:
-- Cost: What is the plan deductible, monthly premium and prescription
co-pay for the prescriptions you regularly take?
-- Coverage: Are the prescription medications you regularly take covered
in the plan? Are there restrictions such as prior authorization?
-- Convenience: Can you fill the prescription at the pharmacy of your
The CVS/pharmacy Medicare Part D Calculator guides seniors through this decision-making process step by step. After entering basic information such as ZIP code, current prescription drug coverage, and prescription medications, 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
-- They can also make choices about medication in the coverage gap --
also known as the "donut hole"
-- Seniors can find out if they qualify for Extra Help from the Social
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 each criterion.
The National Council on Aging, a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, DC, is a national voice for older Americans -- especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged -- and the community organizations that serve them. NCOA turns creative ideas into effective programs that help millions of the nation's seniors live independently, find jobs and benefits, manage their health and contribute to their communities. For more information, visit www.ncoa.org.