Humana, Wal-Mart partner for low-cost drug plan

Big news broke last week in healthcare when Humana and Wal-Mart announced plans to partner and provide a low-cost Medicare Part D prescription drug plan across the US.

Big news broke last week in healthcare when Humana and Wal-Mart announced plans to partner and provide a low-cost Medicare Part D prescription drug plan across the US.  

The Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan is slated to have a $14.80 monthly premium, which the companies said is the lowest premium for any 2011 standalone plans.

The move, say some news outlets, will increase Humana's market share and bring more business to Wal-Mart's pharmacies. Other media sources say that the plan would have a similar impact on the pharmaceutical market that Wal-Mart had when it rolled out its $4 generic drug plan four years ago.

And, an analyst told Bloomberg that Humana "is betting Wal-Mart's marketing and purchasing muscle will help keep its drug plans profitable."

As a side note, Ivan Oransky, executive editor of Reuters Health, blogged on his Embargo Watch blog about the non-disclosure agreement for journalists that the companies required as a result of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines. 

As enrollment nears, a number of other companies have launched campaigns, including the expanded "Medicare Made Clear" campaign that UnitedHealthcare kicked off last week.

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