Chain drug pharmacies and pharmacists are helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate the changes in Medicare Part D.

Chain drug, pharmacies, Medicare Part D, pharmacists, Medicare beneficiaries, open enrollment, prescription drug plans, Walgreens, Suzanne Hansen, pharmacy, Walgreens pharmacists, Medicare Part D plan, CVS/pharmacy, Papatya Tankut, CVS pharmacists, Medicare Plan Finder,, Rite Aid, Rite Aid pharmacists, Robert Thompson, Medicare patients, prescription needs, John Schultz

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Rx provides help with Part D enrollment

November 7th, 2011

NEW YORK – Chain drug pharmacies and pharmacists are helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate the changes in Medicare Part D.

“There are substantial savings available to Medicare Part D beneficiaries this year, so it’s important they know their options to realize these benefits,” says Suzanne Hansen, group vice president of pharmacy operations at Walgreen Co. “Our pharmacists are among the most trusted and accessible sources for help with making an informed plan choice."

This year the dates for open enrollment, the Medicare annual election period for prescription drug plans, have been moved up nearly a month compared to previous years. Medicare enrollees have until December 7 to review coverage options for 2012.

Walgreens pharmacists are offering a free plan comparison report generated from Medicare’s online plan finder at any of the chain’s more than 7,700 locations. The report is personalized based on an individual’s current medications, making it easier for Medicare beneficiaries to choose a plan for the first time or determine whether their current plan is still the best fit for their needs.

Patients can schedule appointments for a Medicare Part D plan review at their local pharmacy or at Pharmacists also are available to review plans on a walk-in basis, and nearly 4,000 Walgreens stores around the country will host representatives from Medicare Part D plans who will provide information and can help people enroll in plans that best fit their needs.

CVS/pharmacy has also been providing such assistance since October 15, the start of the open enrollment.

“Affordability of prescription medications can pose challenges for seniors, who may take multiple prescriptions for a number of chronic conditions,” says Papatya Tankut, vice president of pharmacy professional services at CVS/pharmacy. “Achieving cost savings through the thoughtful selection of a Medicare Part D plan can help seniors save money, stay on their medications and achieve healthier outcomes.”

To help seniors wade through Medicare Part D plans and find options that meet their needs, CVS/pharmacy is offering resources in-store and online. CVS pharmacists are available throughout the enrollment period to provide patients a list of their current medications. They can also provide assistance on how to complete plan comparisons using the Medicare Plan Finder Tool.

Additionally, seniors can access the 2012 Medicare Plan Finder at to compare plans. The site provides answers to common questions about Medicare Part D plans and lists additional sources of information.

Free in-store and online resources that compare plans using estimated costs of patients’ prescription needs are also available through Rite Aid Corp.

“Rite Aid pharmacists are trusted advisors to give Medicare patients and their caregivers the latest estimated plan costs based on their personal prescription needs,” says Robert Thompson, executive vice president of pharmacy. “The role of our pharmacists as trusted advisers is vital so that Rite Aid remains a destination for Medicare patients all year long.”