WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS is aiming to help seniors navigate Medicare Part D plan changes with such resources as an online assistance tool.
The CVS Medicare Part D Plan Decision Tool, available at www.cvs.com, guides seniors through the decision-making process. After entering basic information, including current prescription drug coverage, prescription medications and their location via a pull-down menu, seniors are guided through a series of options:
- Plans with the lowest cost despite medication limitations or fewest medication limitations even if it means higher cost
- Plans with the lowest annual cost based on current prescriptions or plans with gap coverage that may be more expensive
- Qualification for Extra Help from the Social Security Administration.
Seniors are also presented with a list of the top plans that best meet their needs, including information on estimated annual cost, monthly premium, deductible, limitations on medications and gap coverage. The plans can be compared by each criterion.
And, as noted by the company, CVS pharmacists have been trained on Medicare Part D plan changes, and are available to provide counsel to seniors in the pharmacy.
On average, there will be 53 Medicare Part D plans offered in each state during 2008. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a 3.1 percent average increase in monthly premiums for Medicare Part D plans.
Those who are currently enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan are encouraged to review their current plan for changes in potential out of pocket costs, like the deductible and coverage of current or anticipated prescription drugs. In recently released data, CMS predicts that 91 percent of current Medicare beneficiaries will have access to lower cost Medicare Part D plans in 2008, as compared with 83 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in 2007.