Pharmacy Saver at center of Hy-Vee's wellness business

Few supermarkets make health and wellness as central to their business as Hy-Vee, a West Des Moines, Iowa-based chain.

In December 2010, the chain announced it would become one of a number of retailers — including Kroger and Safeway — to participate in Pharmacy Saver, a new program offered in collaboration with UnitedHealthcare, the country’s largest Medicare Part D insurer. The program was launched, in part, as a response to the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan, launched in late September 2010.

Pharmacy Saver offers 366 commonly prescribed generic drugs to select Medicare beneficiaries for as little as $2, and is offered on top of Hy-Vee’s generic discount program, which offers generic prescriptions for $4 for 30-day supplies and $10 for 90-day supplies.

Pharmacy Saver adds to Hy-Vee’s growing list of pharmacy offerings, including the chain’s partnership with Omaha, Neb.-based Amber Pharmacy to offer specialty pharmacy services that also would take advantage of Hy-Vee’s ability to offer diet and nutrition services. The service, called Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions, offers phone service, personal care coordinators and the option of having specialty medications made available for pickup at a Hy-Vee pharmacy or delivery to a patient’s home, office or other location.

Healthy eating is another area where Hy-Vee has staked out a niche. It marked February as American Heart Month with a special advertising circular that contained nutrition information, shopping tips and heart-healthy recipes from Hy-Vee chefs.

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