For more information:
Kris Naidl – (414) 276-6237
Madison, WI, April 13, 2005 – WPS Health Insurance, Wisconsin’s largest not-for-profit health benefits provider, announced that it has filed with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to become a prescription drug plan (PDP) provider under the new Medicare Part D program. The new prescription drug benefit, created as a part of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, will be available to all new and existing Medicare enrollees starting November 15th, with coverage going into effect on January 1st, 2006. WPS intends to offer its PDP to the estimated 835,000 Medicare beneficiaries throughout Wisconsin.
“WPS has been providing supplemental insurance to Wisconsin seniors since the inception of Medicare in 1966,” says Guenther Ruch, Senior Vice-President at WPS. “Today, thousands of people statewide rely on WPS to help them fill the gaps left by Medicare. Establishing a Part D prescription drug plan demonstrates our continuing commitment to provide affordable, high quality insurance coverage to this important market segment.”
WPS will partner with Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:MHS), one of the nation’s leading pharmacy benefit managers (PBM), to establish a Medicare Part D compliant formulary and comprehensive, nationwide pharmacy network. For the last four years in a row, Medco has been ranked the industry’s #1 PBM by a leading pharmacy satisfaction research firm.
In addition to offering the statutory Part D benefit design, WPS will offer an actuarially equivalent alternative plan designed to make the new benefit easier to understand for the senior market. WPS has tested various plan designs in focus groups in advance of filing with CMS and will use the data gathered in these sessions to enhance communication and enrollment processes.
“Early surveys of the market have shown considerable confusion amongst seniors over the complexity of the new drug benefit,” notes Ruch. “For the nearly 40 year existence of Medicare, Wisconsin seniors have looked to WPS when they’ve needed a stable product with clearly defined benefits. We fully intend for our Medicare prescription drug plan to continue that tradition.”
Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that has been providing quality health and benefit plan administration for businesses and individuals for nearly 60 years. WPS is one of the state’s largest health insurers and was founded by members of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin in order to help state residents who lacked proper medical insurance. Today, WPS, which has a Wisconsin network of more than 14,500 providers, 800 clinics and specialty care clinics and 129 hospitals, continues to exceed the challenges associated with the health care industry by working closely with employers and health care providers. For more information about WPS Health Insurance, visit www.wpsic.com.