|WellPoint and Rite Aid Launch New Alliance to Assist Medicare Beneficiaries During Open Enrollment|
Collaboration will help deliver information about Medicare Part D options through more than 5,100 drug stores nationwide
INDIANAPOLIS and CAMP HILL, Pa., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) and Rite Aid Corporation announced today a collaborative effort to make health care information more accessible to seniors and other Medicare eligible individuals during the Medicare open enrollment period. The alliance, which will encompass more than 5,100 Rite Aid pharmacy stores nationwide in 31 states and the District of Columbia, reflects the commitment of both companies to provide Medicare beneficiaries with clear, comprehensive materials to help them make the best health coverage choices for themselves and their families.
Through this alliance, printed materials will be available at Rite Aid stores nationwide to help inform seniors about WellPoint's Medicare Part D plans. During the Annual Election Period, also known as open enrollment, agents from WellPoint affiliated companies will be on location at specific stores on certain days to answer questions and explain benefit options. The open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries begins today and ends Dec. 31, 2007. During this period Medicare eligible individuals can opt to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage or a standalone Part D plan. In addition, Medicare eligible individuals can elect to change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another plan during this period.
"We understand that making health benefits choices can be complex and confusing. That is why we are taking this community-based approach to helping Medicare beneficiaries get the information they need so that they are confident they are making the choices that are right for them and their families," said Susan E. Rawlings, president of WellPoint's Senior Business.
Rite Aid is the largest drugstore chain on the East Coast and the third largest drugstore chain in the U.S.
"We are very excited to team up with an organization like WellPoint, a true leader in the managed care industry," said Mark de Bruin, executive vice president, pharmacy. "Rite Aid is committed to making sure our senior patients are fully educated and understand the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and our alliance with WellPoint will help our senior patients determine the best Medicare Part D plan for their prescription needs."
"We offer a broad range of Medicare plans to fit the needs of today's diverse and rapidly growing senior population," said Rawlings. "This alliance with Rite Aid allows us to reach out to seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries in a way that is convenient for them to help them find the best plan to meet their health needs and enable them to live the most fulfilling lives possible."
About WellPoint, Inc.
WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.
About Rite Aid Corporation
Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation's leading drugstore chains with approximately 5,100 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company's website at http://www.riteaid.com.
SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
CONTACT: Media, Janice Kyser, +1-805-557-6755, Investor Relations, Michael Kleinman, +1-317-488-6713, both of WellPoint, Inc.