Walgreens Offering Free Plan Reviews, Other Services to Help Medicare Beneficiaries as Annual Election Period Begins Oct. 15

Company’s preferred relationships with four national plan sponsors to offer significant costs savings for enrollees

With one-third concerned about prescription drug costs, Walgreens survey finds widespread need for education about cost-saving strategies

Business Wire

DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

With this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period overlapping with the unrelated open enrollment for the new federal and state insurance marketplaces, there’s a growing need to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their health care coverage options when Medicare open enrollment begins tomorrow. Walgreens (WAG) (WAG) pharmacists will serve as one of the most convenient and accessible resources for Medicare Part D information, offering free, personalized plan comparison reports at every location, every day, to help beneficiaries evaluate the plans that may best meet their prescription drug needs.

Walgreens prescription plan comparison report details each plan’s estimated annual costs, including monthly premiums, brand and generic co-pays and drugs covered through the coverage gap (donut hole). Walgreens pharmacists will review the report to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their coverage options, as well as the latest information on Medicare, whether they’re selecting a plan for the first time or evaluating if their current plan is still the best option. Plan reviews will be available on a walk-in basis or by scheduling an appointment at www.walgreens.com/medicare.

Walgreens is a part of Medicare preferred pharmacy networks with four national Part D plan sponsors -Coventry Health Care, Humana, UnitedHealthcare and WellCare. The preferred networks are designed to offer Medicare beneficiaries additional options to save on their prescription drugs.

Cost savings remains top of mind for many Medicare beneficiaries, as more than one-third of those surveyed1 (37 percent) are concerned about prescription drug costs, and 1-in-5 say they’ve made sacrifices, such as delaying filling a prescription or skipping doses to help manage medication costs.

“Many Medicare beneficiaries don’t fully understand certain aspects of their health plan, including cost savings options, and some also become non-adherent to medication therapies as a way to try to reduce costs,” said Suzanne Hansen, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy operations. “The Medicare environment can be challenging to navigate, and we anticipate an even greater need to help educate our customers this year, given the changes that are taking place across the health care landscape. Walgreens, as a preferred network provider, offers a number of benefits, which may include savings of up to 75 percent on prescription co-pays and our pharmacists are trusted experts who can help beneficiaries understand their plan options.”

Walgreens is in the networks of hundreds of other Medicare prescription drug plans for 2014, in addition to participating in the three national preferred pharmacy networks. For more information, visit www.walgreens.com/medicare.

About Walgreens

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2013 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to be the first choice in health and daily living for everyone in America, and beyond. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,123 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers, provider practices, and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 750 locations throughout the country.

1 Walgreens survey conducted by KRC Research, April 2013. http://news.walgreens.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=5740

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