The six-week open enrollment period for Medicare Part D is under way and seniors are facing the annual task of evaluating prescription plans to nail down their choices for the coming year. Medicare enrollees have until Dec. 31 to review their current plan for any changes in cost or coverage and make certain it still meets their needs. Again this year, Walgreens pharmacists will be one of the best resources for Medicare information, offering a free personalized report that makes it easier for seniors and caregivers to weigh their options.
DEERFIELD, Ill. (Business Wire EON) November 19, 2008 -- The report is available in minutes at any of the more than 6,500 Walgreens pharmacies nationwide or online at Walgreens.com/medicare. Pharmacists will enter a list of the patient's medications and generate a printout detailing each plan's estimated annual costs including monthly premiums, brand and generic co-pays and coverage through the coverage gap or "donut hole".
"We urge people not to assume their plans will remain the same for 2009," said Kermit R. Crawford, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy. "Many plans have made significant increases in premiums or changes to medications covered. Our report simplifies the decision-making process by providing information tailored for each individual in a way that makes it easy to compare options."
Even if there have not been changes to their current plan, seniors are encouraged to consider how their needs may have evolved over the year and how their plan measures up against others available. Walgreens also recommends that seniors who switch plans or those enrolling in Part D for the first time do so well before the Dec. 31 deadline in order to ensure processing is complete before they need to refill prescriptions in early January.
Walgreens pharmacists can also help seniors determine whether they may qualify for the Extra Help subsidy. Patients who meet certain income requirements may be eligible for lower co-payments.
"We understand this decision can be overwhelming for both seniors and caregivers. We are working to make sure people don't miss out on significant savings because they don't understand how to evaluate their options," said Crawford. "We want seniors to know there's a plan out there that will work for them, and we can help them find it."
For more information on the personalized report and Medicare Part D counseling services available at Walgreens, contact your local store or go to www.walgreens.com/medicare.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2008 sales of $59 billion. The company operates 6,544 drugstores in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Walgreens provides the most convenient access to consumer goods and cost-effective health care services in America through its retail drugstores, Walgreens Health Services division and Walgreens Health and Wellness division. In addition to specialty pharmacy services, Walgreens Health Services assists pharmacy patients and prescription drug and medical plans through Walgreens Health Initiatives Inc. (a pharmacy benefit manager), Walgreens Mail Service Inc., Walgreens Home Care Inc. and SeniorMed LLC (a pharmacy provider to long-term care facilities). Walgreens Health and Wellness division includes Take Care Health Systems, which is comprised of: Take Care Consumer Solutions, managers of 273 convenient care clinics at Walgreens drugstores, and Take Care Employer Solutions, managers of worksite-based health and wellness services at 366 employer campuses.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/walgreens_health/medicare_part/prweb1640664.htm
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