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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Humana Inc. have introduced a co-branded Medicare Part D prescription drug plan that the companies say can provide considerable savings on monthly plan premiums and prescription medicine copayments and cost-shares for Medicare beneficiaries, including senior citizens and disabled people.
The Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan (PDP) offers one low national monthly plan premium of $14.80, which, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is the lowest national plan premium in 2011 for a standalone Medicare Part D plan premium offered in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. A typical Medicare Part D beneficiary who enrolls in PDP could save an estimated average of more than $450 in 2011 on plan premiums and prescription medication copayments and cost-shares, vs. the average total costs for a Part D prescription drug plan in 2010.
“One of the primary goals of health care reform is to make health coverage more affordable – and that's what we're doing with the introduction of this low-cost Medicare Part D plan,” explained William Fleming, VP of Humana Pharmacy Solutions in Louisville, Ky. “People are more likely to take the medications prescribed for them when they can afford those medications. And adhering to prescription-drug regimens can enable people to be healthier and prevent future illness.”
“We know every dollar counts, especially when you live on a fixed income. We believe no one should have to choose between buying their groceries or their medications," added John Agwunobi, president of Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart’s health and wellness division. "Financial health is a fundamental part of a person's well-being. At Walmart, the customer is always front and center, and that is why we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure seniors have access to the medications they need at a price they can afford.”
PDP features one low monthly rate nationwide of less than $15, low copayments when plan members use preferred pharmacies such as Walmart, Neighborhood Market or Sam's Club pharmacies; in-store copayments on generic prescriptions that start as low as $2 when plan members use preferred pharmacies; copayments as low as $0 for generic prescriptions filled via Humana's RightSource home-delivery prescription service; and a broad competitive formulary comparable to other plans, with a list of prescription drugs included in the plan available at humana-medicare.com.
Enrollment information on the plan is available to consumers by calling Humana at (800) 899-0441; clicking on humana-medicare.com or medicare.gov; visiting walmart.com/rxplan or samsclub.com/rxplan; going to a Walmart store to speak to a Humana representative; or stopping by one of the informational kiosks, including many staffed by Humana representatives, at about 3,000 Walmart stores across the United States.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost 18 million people are currently enrolled in a standalone Medicare Part D plan, and Families USA has found that one-third of all prescriptions filled in the United States are for seniors.