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WellPoint Affiliates Launch Preferred Pharmacy Network For Most Medicare Plans

Stocks in this article: WLP

Most of WellPoint’s 2014 affiliated Medicare drug plans and medical plans with drug coverage will help members save money on their prescription medications through the use of a preferred pharmacy network.

The preferred pharmacy network is composed of Kroger, Rite Aid and Walmart pharmacies and their affiliates, including the following: for Kroger, FredMeyer, King Soopers, City Market, Fry’s, Smith’s, Dillons, Ralphs, QFC, Baker’s, Scott’s, Owen’s, Pay Less, Gerbes and JayC; for Walmart, Walmart Neighborhood Market and Sam’s Club. Together, these pharmacies offer more than 11,000 locations nationwide. The preferred pharmacy network is part of all of WellPoint’s affiliated Part D standalone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) and most of its affiliated Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans (MAPD).

Members may utilize any of the company’s retail network pharmacies. However, they will receive savings of around $5 to $8 per copay on most drugs (depending on plan type and drug tier) for using preferred network pharmacies. Additionally, all standalone PDP plans and a few MAPD plans will feature preferred generics for a $1 copayment.

“Launching this preferred pharmacy network not only saves members on their drug purchases, which helps them improve their adherence and their health, but also allows WellPoint’s affiliates to offer standalone PDP plans with more attractive premiums than in years past,” said Leeba Lessin, executive vice president and president of WellPoint’s Medicare Programs.

Representatives of WellPoint affiliates will staff booths at certain, high-volume locations of these stores during Medicare’s Annual Election Period (Oct. 15-Dec. 7) to talk about and sell affiliated PDP and MAPD plans where applicable. Plans are effective Jan. 1, 2014.

WellPoint affiliates currently serve more than 1.8 million Medicare members. Plans are sold under different brand names across the country. Many PDP plans, for instance, are sold under the UniCare brand. Consumers and affiliated plan members should visit their local brand’s Web site to learn more about the pharmacy network available in their area.

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