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Costco offers Aetna insurance to members in Florida

BY Alaric DeArment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Health insurer Aetna is offering individual health insurance plans to Costco members in Florida, the insurer said.

The Costco Personal Health Insurance program includes five plans and offers medical benefits, dental options, a network of doctors and hospitals and other services, as well as lower copays on prescriptions at the club retailer’s pharmacies.

It was previously reported that Aetna would be offering the same program in California, and members in Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia have access to it as well.

"We recognize the importance of providing affordable health solutions that deliver value and convenience to individuals and families," Aetna head of individual business Barbara DeMaio said. "We are proud to join with a respected retailer like Costco to provide health insurance options to their members in Florida."


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New south Fla. Target store set for October opening

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target will open a new store in East Kendall, Fla., one of the 18 it plans to open this year in the United States, the mass merchandise retailer said.

The 173,000-square-foot store will include a variety of products, including fresh produce, fresh packaged meat and pre-packaged baked goods.

"Target is excited to open our new store in October," Target VP stores for the southern region Sid Keswani said. "We look forward to deepening our commitment to south Florida, our guests and team members there."


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Reports: Medicare per-capita costs to go down, doughnut hole entry point lower in 2014

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Overall Medicare prescription drug costs will go down in 2014, but the so-called "doughnut hole" coverage gap will get bigger, according to published reports.

Reuters reported that per-capita drug costs for Medicare Part D will drop from this year’s $325 to $310 next year, and insurance premiums might go down as well.

Nevertheless, the "donut hole" — a spending threshold when beneficiaries have to pay 50% of their own branded drug costs, before they reach another, higher threshold when the full program coverage for their drugs kicks in again — is likely to be larger. This year, beneficiaries whose drug costs reach $2,970 must pay 50% of the cost, until the cost reaches $4,750. In 2014, those numbers will be $2,850 and $4,550, respectively.

Reuters noted that the point when the donut hole begins isn’t related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was designed to help close it; it’s the result of a formula related to the per-capita drug costs.

 

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