WellPoint to unveil Medicare Part D decision tool

Touted as saving seniors on their prescription drug costs, Medicare Part D has nonetheless been panned as a confusing regulation made even more baffling by the myriad of plans offered available by insurers — over 40 plans in New Hampshire alone.

Indianapolis, Ind.-based health insurer WellPoint Inc. — parent corporation of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire — is hoping to clear up some of the confusion with a Web-based Medicare Part D decision tool for the plans it offers.

“We believe this tool will provide tremendous value in helping seniors find the estimated price, plan and drug benefit that best meets their needs,” said Joan E. Herman, president and chief executive officer of specialty, senior and state-sponsored business for WellPoint. “One of our key priorities is to provide superior customer service and the most convenient enrollment options possible for seniors during the upcoming enrollment period — and this tool enables us to deliver on that mission.”

WellPoint describes its Web tool as helping prospective members, the children of eligible members and others by providing information on the drugs the company covers, comparing and contrasting different plans, finding lower cost alternatives for certain drugs, and even to calculate costs and enroll.

“WellPoint’s unique competitive advantage is our local market depth and the ability to create innovation, efficiency and service excellence enterprise-wide. This new initiative adds one more convenient and quick way to serve our senior market — quick and close to home. The launch of this tool also directly supports our efforts in making health care more affordable and in becoming the most trusted choice for consumers,” said Herman.

WellPoint did not release a specific starting date for when the Medicare Part D tool would be available online. — CINDY KIBBE

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