Walgreens Pharmacists Providing Free Plan Comparison Reports for Medicare Beneficiaries

Reports available to help beneficiaries navigate changes and evaluate options for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage

Walgreens Pharmacists Providing Free Plan Comparison Reports for Medicare Beneficiaries

<0> Walgreen Co. Corporate CommunicationsJim Cohn(847) 315-2950 </0>

Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) pharmacists will be one of the most convenient and accessible resources for Medicare Part D information, as beneficiaries nationwide evaluate their health care coverage options during Medicare’s Annual Election Period, which runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Walgreens is again offering free, personalized Part D plan comparison reports to help beneficiaries identify the plan that best meets their prescription drug needs. Plan reviews are now available on a walk-in basis or by scheduling an appointment at .

Plan comparison reports, available daily at all of the nearly 8,000 Walgreens stores nationwide, are generated from Medicare’s online plan finder. The report details each plan’s estimated annual costs including monthly premiums, brand and generic co-pays and coverage through the coverage gap. Medicare beneficiaries should also ensure their pharmacy of choice is in their plan’s network.

“The Medicare landscape can be challenging to navigate, and our pharmacists are trusted resources who can help beneficiaries understand their options to make the most informed plan choice,” said Suzanne Hansen, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy operations. “Prescription drug coverage is often times critical for those selecting new plans or evaluating their current plan. It’s helpful for Medicare beneficiaries to understand some of the ways to save on prescription costs through the use of preferred pharmacy networks or other means.”

Walgreens last week announced it will be a part of preferred pharmacy networks of four national Medicare Part D plan sponsors – Coventry, Humana, SmartD Rx and UnitedHealthcare. The preferred networks for the 2013 Part D plans offered by these sponsors are designed to deliver cost savings for Medicare beneficiaries, keeping Part D plans affordable by offering lower co-pays on prescription drug purchases.

In addition to participating in the preferred networks, Walgreens will also be in the network of hundreds of other Medicare prescription drug plans for 2013.

Walgreens is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and others to help Medicare beneficiaries learn about new benefits available to them under the Affordable Care Act. Walgreens is providing customers a range of educational materials on newly available preventive services as well as ways to save on prescription drug spending in the “donut hole,” or coverage gap.

In addition, all Take Care Clinics located at select Walgreens are now offering the “Welcome to Medicare Preventive Visit” and “Medicare Yearly Wellness Visits.” These wellness services are for Medicare enrollees and include screenings for a number of common conditions, as well as education and counseling to encourage wellness and prevent disease.

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens () vision is to become America’s first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 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 7,944 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.

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