Universal American Announces New Medicare Part D Benefit Making Lipitor and Crestor Available for Low or No Copay

Plans can save enrollees an estimated $230-$300 in 2011(2) on two popular cholesterol-lowering drugs through a network of 64,000 pharmacies nationwide

RYE BROOK, N.Y., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal American (NYSE: UAM), the nation's second largest Medicare Part D sponsor(3), has partnered with the makers of LIPITOR and CRESTOR to provide broad and affordable access to these cholesterol-lowering prescription drugs. Effective January 1, 2011, all members of Universal American's Medicare Part D Prescription drug plans, Community CCRx(SM) PDP, as well as all members of its Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans can purchase these popular drugs for low or no monthly copayments(4) through the company's nationwide network of 64,000 pharmacies, including independent pharmacies, regional chain stores, and major retail drug chains.

"Heart disease is a major health issue for older Americans," said John Wardle, President of Universal American's Medicare Prescription Drug Plan business. "While all Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans cover statins, most of these plans require substantial copays for the most popular brand-name statins. These drugs can be expensive, especially for older adults on a fixed income. By forming partnerships with Pfizer and AstraZeneca, the makers of LIPITOR and CRESTOR, Universal American members can save $230 to $300(5) on these cholesterol-lowering drugs in one year."

Why These Medications?

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for people over the age of 75,(6) and high cholesterol plays a major role in developing this disease.(7) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in every six adults have high cholesterol(8). Over 33.5 million older Americans currently take a statin drug or should be taking one(9) making it the most prescribed drug class in the U.S.(10), with LIPITOR and CRESTOR being two of the most popular brands.(11)

"For two out of three people,(12) diet and exercise alone are not enough to lower cholesterol," said Nelson Fernandez, M.D., Senior Medical Director of Universal American. "Drug therapy like statins, may help reduce the amount of bad cholesterol and ultimately lower the incidence of stroke or heart attack."

Michael A. Suesserman, Vice President, U.S. Corporate and Government Customers, Pfizer said, "We at Pfizer strive to provide patients with access to safe, effective and affordable medicines. To ensure we can continue to deliver on our commitments to patients, we welcome opportunities like this partnership with Universal American to allow greater access to medicines like Lipitor."

Universal American is committed to A Healthy Collaboration(SM), a pledge it shares with physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare providers to work together to improve members' health. It means encouraging members to see their doctors and fill their prescriptions regularly because it will help them prevent illness and manage disease, as well as drive down costs so they can save money and stay healthy. Joining with Pfizer and AstraZeneca (makers of LIPITOR and CRESTOR, respectively) to make these two drugs more affordable is another example of how Universal American is making it easier for those with Medicare, including seniors and people with disabilities, to improve and protect their health.

As healthcare evolves, people with Medicare will have questions about their health coverage. Universal American is listening to these concerns and providing innovative approaches that bring members more options that control their healthcare costs. For more information about Community CCRx and Universal American, visit www.UniversalAmerican.com.

About Universal American

Universal American (NYSE: UAM), through our family of healthcare companies, provides health benefits to nearly two million people with Medicare every day.* We are dedicated to working collaboratively with healthcare professionals in order to improve the health and well-being of our members.

*2009 Annual Report, April 2010; available at www.UniversalAmerican.com

Notes:

Today's Options PPO®, Today's Options® PFFS, Today's Options® HMO, TexanPlus® HMO, Generations Healthcare HMO, Today's Health® HMO, Tribute HMO SNP, and Fresenius Health Partners PPO SNP are Medicare-approved PPO, PFFS and HMO plans and Community CCRx(SM) PDP is a federally qualified Medicare Contracting Prescription Drug Plan offered by the following organizations that contract with the Federal government: The Pyramid Life Insurance Company; SelectCare Health Plans (d/b/a TexasFirst Health Plans® and d/b/a Today's Options of Indiana, in Texas and Indiana, respectively); SelectCare of Oklahoma, Inc.; GlobalHealth, Inc.; SelectCare of Texas, L.L.C.; American Progressive Life & Health Insurance Company of New York; and Pennsylvania Life Insurance Company, members of the Universal American family of companies; and Abri Health Plan Inc. (administered by a member of the Universal American family of companies).

Prices may vary for Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans, based on region. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1, 2012. The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, not a comprehensive description of benefits. For more information, contact the plan. Limitations, copayments and restrictions apply. You must continue to pay your Part B premium.

You may be able to get Extra Help to pay for your prescription drug premiums and costs. To see if you qualify for extra help, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Call the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778 or your State Medicaid Office.

This information is available in a different format, including Spanish. Please call Customer Service at the number listed (above/below) if you need plan information in another format or language. Esta informacion esta disponible en diferentes formatos, incluyendo el espanol. Por favor llame a Servicios al Cliente al numero indicado arriba si necesita informacion del plan en otro formato u idioma.

We have formed a network of pharmacies. To receive plan prescription drug benefits, you must use a network pharmacy, except in non-routine circumstances, and quantity limitations and restrictions may apply.

(1) Effective January 1, 2011, this low copay is for each 30-day supply during the Initial Coverage Stage. (2) For our current members [who take Lipitor or Crestor], we estimate the savings to be between $230 and $300 per year; we believe that similar savings will be achieved in out-of-pocket costs as compared to other Part D plans that have higher co-pays for these medications. Savings estimate is based on a comparison between annual average projected costs for a 30-day supply for a member for the 2011 benefit year versus 2010 benefit year. Actual savings may vary. (3)Source: CMS.gov; April 2010. (4) Effective January 1, 2011, this low copay is for each 30-day supply during the Initial Coverage Stage. (5) For our current members [who take Lipitor or Crestor], we estimate the savings to be between $230 and $300 per year; we believe that similar savings will be achieved in out-of-pocket costs as compared to other Part D plans that have higher co-pays for these medications. Savings estimate is based on a comparison between annual average projected costs for a 30-day supply for a member for the 2011 benefit year versus 2010 benefit year. Actual savings may vary. (6) Source: American Heart Association, http://www.americanheart.org/downloadable/heart/1236979840760CAUSES_DEATH.pdf (7)Source: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/wyntk.htm Copyright 2001 - 2005 © NIH Publication No. 05-3290 (8) Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol. (August 2010) (9)Source: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, [1999-2004]. (10)Source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db42.pdf NCHS Data Brief, No. 42, 9/2010. (11) Source: Verispan, LLC - Top 200 TRx products-65+(Aug 10) (12) Source: Pfizer. (2010). Lipitor official site - lipitor.com. Retrieved from http://www.lipitor.com.

Media Contact:

Jenn Riggle

For Universal American

757-640-1982 ext. 25

jriggle@crt-tanaka.com

 

 


SOURCE Universal American

 

Posted: October 2010


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