Humana to Focus on Preventive Care With 2009 Medicare Plans
With the first day of Medicare open enrollment set for this Saturday, Nov. 15, Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) today announced some highlights of the Medicare Advantage and stand-alone prescription-drug plans it will offer to Medicare beneficiaries next year.
The company’s 2009 Medicare plans are designed to encourage members to take advantage of preventive health care services, better manage chronic conditions, and use programs that help members save money on prescription drugs.
To underscore the company’s emphasis on preventive care, members in most of Humana’s 2009 Medicare Advantage plans (plans that come with medical or medical and prescription drug coverage) will not incur a copayment for the following preventive care services:
— Routine physicals
— Prostate screening
— Bone-mass measurement
— Pap/pelvic exams
— Flu vaccine
“Getting appropriate preventive screenings is one of the most important things someone can do for his or her health,” said Philip Painter, M.D., chief medical officer of Humana’s Senior Products division. “Early detection typically gives you a better chance of recovery, no matter the condition. A mammogram, for instance, might reveal a mass that is too small to be detected by self-examination, greatly enhancing a person’s treatment options.”
Most Humana Medicare Advantage plans also feature care coordination and/or disease-management services, including HumanaFirst(SM) – a 24-hour-a-day medical information service. Callers to HumanaFirst can speak to a registered nurse who helps guide them to appropriate treatment or care, depending on their situation.
Another way Humana will help members manage their health in 2009 is by making diabetic-monitoring supplies available for a $0 copayment. This enhancement, which is available to most Humana Medicare Advantage members, includes test strips, lancets and glucometers. According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, people with diabetes who frequently monitor blood-sugar levels and maintain tight glucose control experience far fewer complications from diabetes.
Humana is tackling the cost of prescription drugs by continuing to offer a $0 copayment to eligible members for Tier 1 (preferred generic) drugs ordered through the company’s mail-order pharmacy, RightSourceRx(SM). These savings are available to many Humana Medicare members, including the 1.6 million enrollees in the company’s Enhanced and Complete prescription-drug plans.
“Humana members have saved more than $15 million in copayments through this program this year,” said William Fleming, Pharm. D., vice president of Humana Pharmacy Solutions. “Most people understand that generics are comparable to their brand-name counterparts in terms of strength, purity and stability, and are just as effective. Additionally, more generics are constantly entering the marketplace to treat such common conditions as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.”
Humana will also offer prescription-drug plans that feature discounts on over-the-counter drugs as well as vision, dental and hearing services. Additionally, Humana Medicare members receive regular SmartSummary statements which feature a prescription-benefits summary that warns members of potentially harmful drug interactions and informs them about ways to save money on their prescriptions.
Expanded plan offerings in several markets
Humana will offer new Medicare health plans in several markets in 2009. Health Maintenance Organizations, or HMOs, will be available in:
— Albuquerque, N.M.; Peoria, Ill., the Treasure Coast area of Florida (St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Brevard counties), and Las Vegas.
Local Preferred Provider Organizations, or LPPOs, will be introduced in:
— Evansville, Ind.; northern Indiana; north-central Pennsylvania; Erie, Pa.; Virginia Beach-Norfolk, Va.; Richmond, Va.; Charleston-Huntington, W. Va.; Columbus, Ohio; Cedar Rapids and Scott County, Iowa; Peoria, Ill.; Henry and Mercer counties, Illinois; Huntsville, Birmingham and Mobile, Ala.; the Gulf Coast of Mississippi; Jackson, Miss.; Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn.; Columbia, S.C.; Fort Collins-Greeley and Pueblo, Co.; Honolulu; Las Vegas; and three parishes in New Orleans.
Humana will pilot a new LPPO, Humana MyCare(SM), in New Orleans and Kansas City. MyCare healthcare providers have completed a course on senior sensitivity, motivational interviewing, advanced-care planning and management of multiple chronic conditions – continuing education designed to help doctors help Humana members be healthier and have a better experience with their doctor and the health care system.
For more information about Humana’s Medicare plans for individuals, visit http://www.humana-medicare.com.
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health and supplemental benefits companies, with approximately 11.7 million medical members. Humana is a full-service benefits solutions company, offering a wide array of health and supplementary benefit plans for employer groups, government programs and individuals.
Over its 47-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.
More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s Web site at http://www.humana.com , including copies of:
— Annual reports to stockholders
— Securities and Exchange Commission filings
— Most recent investor conference presentations
— Quarterly earnings news releases
— Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls
— Calendar of events (includes upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors)
— Corporate Governance Information