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Walgreens Offers Help Reviewing Medicare Part D Plans

DEERFIELD, Ill., Dec. 2, 2009 - With the open enrollment period for Medicare Part D now under way, experts are again urging seniors to take the time to closely consider all their options. Medicare enrollees have until Dec. 31 to review their current plan for any changes in cost or coverage for 2010. Again this year, Walgreens pharmacists will be one of the best resources for Medicare information, offering a free plan comparison report that makes it easier for seniors and caregivers to determine if their plan is still the best fit for their needs.

The report is available in minutes at any of the more than 7,000 Walgreens pharmacies nationwide or online at Walgreens.com/medicare. Pharmacists will enter a list of the patient’s medications and generate a printout detailing each plan’s estimated annual costs including monthly premiums, brand and generic co-pays and coverage through the coverage gap or “donut hole.”

“We know the annual task of evaluating prescription plans is intimidating for seniors and their families,” said Kermit R. Crawford, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy. “Fortunately, there are resources available and Walgreens pharmacies remain one of the best. Our pharmacists are among the most trusted, accessible sources for help making an informed choice. They can’t make the decision for you, but they can certainly help you understand your options.”

Walgreens free report simplifies the decision-making process by providing information tailored for each individual in a way that makes it easy to compare Medicare Part D plans. Even if there have not been changes to their current plan, seniors need to consider how their needs may have evolved over the year. Walgreens pharmacists also can help seniors determine whether they may qualify for the Extra Help subsidy. Patients who meet certain income requirements may be eligible for lower co-payments.

Walgreens recommends that seniors who switch plans or those enrolling in Part D for the first time do so well before the Dec. 31 deadline in order to ensure processing is complete before they need to refill prescriptions in early January. Medicare recipients who do not select a Part D plan by Dec. 31 will automatically be re-enrolled in their current plan.

Because changes in coverage often catch patients off guard, Walgreens will continue offering assistance with Part D beyond the enrollment period. Throughout the month of January, Walgreens pharmacists will be available for one-on-one plan review sessions. During these sessions, pharmacists will review any changes to the patient’s 2010 coverage and look for cost saving opportunities.

For more information on the personalized report and Medicare Part D counseling services available at Walgreens, contact your local pharmacy or go to www.walgreens.com/medicare.

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2009 sales of $63 billion. The company operates 7,105 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Walgreens provides the most convenient access to consumer goods and services and cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services in America through its retail drugstores, Walgreens Health Services division and Walgreens Health and Wellness division. Walgreens Health Services assists pharmacy patients and prescription drug and medical plans through Walgreens Health Initiatives Inc. (a pharmacy benefit manager), Walgreens Mail Service Inc., Walgreens Home Care Inc., Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy LLC and SeniorMed LLC (a pharmacy provider to long-term care facilities). Walgreens Health and Wellness division includes Take Care Health Systems, 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.