HEALTH

Six health plans across Arizona and Texas to provide over-the-counter benefits through Medagate

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — InComm, a leading prepaid product and transaction services company, on Monday announced that six health plans across Arizona and Texas will be providing over-the-counter benefits through Medagate, InComm’s healthcare platform. 

"Our partnership with these leading Arizona and Texas health plans will create more convenient services for their members, but also allow retailers and health plans to collaborate on wellness initiatives," David Vielehr, VP InComm said. "Over the last two years we have seen a dramatic expansion of the benefits we provide seniors. We look forward to bringing our network of retailers and health plans to Arizona and Texas."

Many Medicare Advantage plan members do not take advantage of OTC Medicare benefits because they must either pay out-of-pocket for OTC items and seek reimbursement, or order online via a catalog and wait up to a week to receive OTC items, InComm noted. The OTCNetwork Card functions like a conventional prepaid card but restricts usage to the purchase of OTC Medicare eligible items for use in self care.

Participating retail partners include CVS/pharmacy, Dollar General, Family Dollar, HEB, Rite Aid and Walgreens. Participating health plans include University of Arizona Health Plans, Phoenix Health Plans and Valley Baptist Health Plans. 

Since 2012, Medagate has worked with more than 25 health plans serving more than 400,000 health plan members and provided eligible seniors with approximately $100 million in OTC benefits at the point of sale, InComm stated. 

 

 

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HEALTH

H-E-B opens 2014 annual Slim Down Showdown challenge to all consumers

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN ANTONIO — H-E-B is opening its annual Slim Down Showdown challenge to all Texans this year, according to published reports. 

Registration for the at-home challenge is open through Jan. 17. Those who participate and log in eight weeks of continuous activity will be eligible to win up to $1,000 in H-E-B gift cards.

H-E-B is opening the contest with a two-week, in-store Start Fresh Fest with demonstrations of quick-to-make healthy meals.

 

 

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Reports: Fruth Pharmacy has sold nearly 1,000 boxes of tamper-resistant pseudoephedrine product

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Fruth Pharmacy is seeing a positive response from customers in its efforts to limit the sale of OTC cold and allergy medications that contain pseudoephedrine, according to published reports.

The West Virginia MetroNews Network reported that Fruth had sold nearly 1,000 boxes of Acura Pharmaceuticals’ Nexafed, a nasal decongestant that contains tamper-resistant properties to limit its appeal to makers of methamphetamine, and the product has been popular with customers since its introduction at the stores in August.

At the same time it made the announcement about Nexafed, the 25-store, West Virginia-based chain announced it would phase out Johnson & Johnson’s Sudafed, a popular target for meth makers due to the relative ease by which the pseudoephedrine is extracted. Other products with pseudoephedrine, such as Merck’s Claritin-D and Sanofi’s Allegra-D, have been moved behind the counter and out of customers’ view.

In addition, customers who want to buy those drugs at Fruth must first consult with a pharmacist who can determine whether they’re being bought for legitimate purposes, the news site reported.

 

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