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CVS/pharmacy to provide assistance during Medicare Part D annual enrollment

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As annual open enrollment season begins for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, CVS pharmacists are available to answer questions and provide guidance on how to complete plan comparisons, CVS/pharmacy announced on Friday.

From Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to review their current prescription coverage and enroll in a new plan, if they so choose.

"Affordability of prescription medications can pose challenges for seniors who may take multiple prescriptions for a number of chronic conditions on an ongoing basis," stated Papatya Tankut, VP pharmacy professional services at CVS/pharmacy. "Achieving cost savings through the thoughtful selection of a Medicare Part D plan can help seniors save money, stay on their medications and achieve healthier outcomes."

To help seniors navigate Medicare Part D plans, CVS/pharmacy is offering resources both in store and online. CVS pharmacists are available throughout the annual enrollment period to provide patients with a list of their current medications. They can provide assistance on how to complete plan comparisons using the Medicare Plan Finder Tool. In addition, seniors can access the 2012 Medicare Plan Finder at CVS.com/Medicare to compare plans. The site provides answers to common questions about Medicare Part D plans, and lists additional sources of information.

A Medicare Part D plan review is encouraged annually as plans and medications change from year to year. CVS/pharmacy recommends that seniors and caregivers consider the following questions when comparing Medicare Part D plans:

  • What are you currently paying for your plan premiums?
  • What are your annual deductibles and prescription co-payments?
  • What are your total out-of-pocket expenses?
  • What choice of plans are offered in your area?
  • Is there a preferred pharmacy network?
  • Have any of your prescriptions changed?

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‘’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ comes to Blu-ray; remastered holiday classics come to DVD

BY Melissa Valliant

This Christmas, you can watch “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” on Blu-ray. For the first time, the classic animated TV holiday special by has been released on Blu-ray, joining other Warner Home Video holiday titles, including “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “The Year Without a Santa Claus,” all with bonus features.

Additionally, other holiday classics have been grouped in one collection with the DVD release of "Santa’s Magical Stories," a compliation from Warner Home Video that includes "Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!," "Pinocchio’s Christmas," "Rudolph’s Shiny New Year," "Jack Frost" and more, as well as a bonus special: "Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July." The collection is available on DVD for a suggested retail price of $29.98. Also just released on DVD is a new, remastered deluxe edition of "Frosty’s Winter Wonderland Deluxe Edition," which includes a bonus featurette called "Frosty and the Story of the Snowman" and is available on DVD for $19.97 SRP.

In the newly remastered, deluxe edition of the animated “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” on Blu-ray, Skeptical Albert Mouse seeks to bring Santa Claus back to the town of Junctionville after a resident angered ’Ole St. Nick by calling him a “fraudulent myth.” The bonus edition includes “Christmas: A Global Holiday,” an animated comic book that explores Yuletide traditions around the world. The “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” bonus edition retails for a suggested retail price of $24.98.

In “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on Blu-ray, Lucy tries to coax Charlie Brown out of his funk by suggesting he direct the Christmas pageant and decorating a tree. The bonus edition includes “A Christmas Miracle: The Making of a Charlie Brown Christmas,” which goes backstage to find how the producers brought a comic strip to life in movie form. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” bonus edition retails for $24.98 SRP.

In the Emmy Award-nominated “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on Blu-ray, Linus insists on waiting for the Great Pumpkin in the pumpkin patch while the “Peanuts” gang decides to crash Violet’s Halloween party. The bonus edition features “We Need a Blockbuster, Charlie Brown,” a documentary about the tradition of “It’s the Great Pumpkin,” and retails for $24.98 SRP.

In “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on Blu-ray, Charlie Brown hosts Thanksgiving dinner and finds that his culinary skills aren’t as impressive as he had hoped. The bonus edition includes “The Making of  a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and retails for $24.98 SRP.

In the stop-motion animation “The Year Without a Santa Claus” on Blu-ray, Santa Claus decides to take a break from Christmas because he feels the world is lacking Christmas spirit. Mrs. Claus and two little elves set off on a search to find believers. The bonus edition includes “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year,” “Nestor the Long-eared Christmas Donkey,” “We are Santa’s Elves” and “School of Stop Motion,” and retails for $24.98 SRP.

The “Peanuts Holiday Collection” bonus edition on Blu-ray comprises of all three “Charlie Brown” movies, features three bonus episodes and retails for $39.98 SRP.

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Kodak announces enhanced Facebook app, kiosk software

BY DSN STAFF

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Eastman Kodak Co. announced that its Kodak Picture Kiosk software will now allow consumers to use images from Facebook to create photo products.

The enhanced Facebook application is the flagship feature of the new Kodak Picture Kiosk software version 5.0 currently being rolled out to retailers worldwide, the company said.

“With new applications and the continued explosion in online sharing, Kodak continues to advance what’s possible at retail with breakthrough innovations like social network connectivity, transforming the photo retail experience,” said Larry Trevarthen, VP worldwide marketing retail systems solutions for Kodak. “Kodak pioneered social connectivity at the photo kiosk and we continue to innovate to meet consumers’ evolving needs while also expanding profit potential for our retail customers.”

The new software suite also features Kodak SmartFit Technology, which automatically creates a photo book in seconds. SmartFit quickly organizes and places photos in a photo book template, then let’s the consumer decide to print immediately or personalize the Photo Book layout further. The new software also supports customizable captions and an improved photo book project preview that shows virtual pages displayed as they will appear in the actual book.

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