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Medco's 2010 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Helps People Take an Active Part in Lowering Prescription Costs

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) is helping seniors in this tough economy find smart solutions for getting the most value out of their Medicare prescription drug plan. The 2010 Medco Medicare Prescription Plan® has three different plan options - Choice, Access, and Value - which in addition to providing access to a vast array of medications, pharmacy locations, and desirable plan features, also provides personalized support services to help seniors stretch their dollars and ensure the safety and accessibility of their medications.

"Many seniors are vibrant and active and want to stay that way," said Mary Daschner, Group President, Retiree Solutions for Medco. "These plans offer access to more than 3,000 medications, support from specialist pharmacists and Medicare Advisors, coverage gap alerts and other tools that can empower Medicare beneficiaries to live healthier lives."

Coverage gap alerts let beneficiaries know how close they are to the Coverage Gap (also known as the "Donut Hole") which is the third stage of coverage in a Medicare Part D plan. Unless a plan provides some coverage in this stage, members are responsible for paying 100 percent of their drug costs while they are in this stage. They must also continue to pay their monthly plan premiums.

The Medco Medicare Prescription Plan portfolio consists of the following:

  • Choice plan, which features a $0 copay for a 90-day supply of generics by mail;
  • Access plan, a $0 deductible plan that covers generic medications during the Coverage Gap and makes generics available for as little as $6 for each 90-day supply via mail
  • Value plan, a lower premium plan option with the same level of access to thousands of medications.

All of these plans have access to a network of more than 58,000 pharmacies nationwide as well as access to Medco's award-winning mail-order pharmacy.

Seniors are becoming savvier about how to save money on prescription drugs. A 2008 Medco survey reported that 66 percent of older Americans switched from a brand drug to a generic over a 12-month period and 54 percent have asked their doctor or pharmacist about generic alternatives.(i)

"In 2008, according to a Medco-sponsored survey, more than two-thirds of respondents were aware of the coverage gap," said Daschner. "The majority of those surveyed said that Medco had provided them with the information they needed to help delay the "gap."(ii) We understand that seniors are keenly interested in taking an active role in healthcare decisions and Medco's PDP options support that."

The following services are available to all Medco Medicare Prescription Plan members:

  • Access to Medicare Advisors who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can help beneficiaries identify and understand lower-cost medication options.
  • Extensive Coverage Gap communications - letters, web messaging and phone calls - that inform members about their proximity to the coverage gap and educate members about how to use their mail-order benefit and generics to help delay reaching the Coverage Gap and lower their overall annual prescription costs.
  • Mail-order pharmacies that are designed for swift and accurate dispensing.
  • Access to specially trained pharmacists who focus their practice on treating a specific chronic condition, such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and pulmonary conditions, so they're better equipped to identify a potential safety issue and counsel patients on how to stay healthy.

All three plan design options within Medco's PDP are offered nationally in 35 Medicare regions, including Puerto Rico.

Enrollment for the 2010 plan year begins Nov. 15, 2009 with coverage beginning on Jan. 1, 2010. Those interested in learning more about the Medco Medicare Prescription Plan options can visit, or call toll-free 1-800-758-3605. TTY/TDD users should call 1-800-716-3231.

About Medco

Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) is pioneering the world's most advanced pharmacy® and its clinical research and innovations are part of Medco making medicine smarter(TM) for more than 60 million members.

With more than 20,000 employees dedicated to improving patient health and reducing costs for a wide range of public and private sector clients, and 2008 revenue exceeding $51 billion, Medco ranks 45th on the Fortune 500 list and is named among the world's most innovative, most admired and most trustworthy companies.

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This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the risks and uncertainties that affect our business, particularly those mentioned in the Risk Factors section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

(i) Feeling the Health Care Pinch." Conducted by Directive Analytics the week of August 18, 2008. Survey #1003065 of 1,107 people (18 and older) online.

(ii) 2nd Quarter 2008 Medco Medicare Customer Satisfaction Study.

SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.

SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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