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The Exchange, New Balance providing footwear to Wounded Warriors

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS — The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, in conjunction with New Balance, is helping wounded service members take a step forward in their recovery process with free athletic shoes through the Wounded Care program.

Since 2007, the Exchange and New Balance have provided complimentary footwear to service members who have been injured in action. More than 400 free pairs have been provided to Wounded Warriors this year alone.

“These warriors have already sacrificed so much that the very least we can do is make sure they’ve got a good pair of shoes for their road to recovery,” stated the Exchange’s Chief of Staff Col. Tom Ockenfels.

 

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Meijer partners with Mich.-based health plan to raise Obamacare awareness

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer has become the latest retailer to address the need many consumers have for more information about the health insurance exchanges that are part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The Michigan-based mass-merchandise retailer announced Tuesday that it would partner with Michigan health plan Priority Health to raise awareness and help customers obtain information about their options as open enrollment for health insurance begins. The new program includes a website, Health Reform and You! and informational brochures distributed at the chain’s 203 stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

"We know patients will have questions about their health care, and we consider it important to be able to help them get the answers they need regarding the Affordable Care Act," Meijer drug store VP Nat Love said. "Meijer is committed to providing options to help our customers lead healthier lives. We want to help them find the information they will need to make the best choices for the health care of their families while addressing any questions or confusion they may have."

 

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WellPoint launches preferred pharmacy network for Medicare

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS — Health insurer WellPoint said Tuesday that most of its affiliated Medicare drug plans and medical plans with drug coverage will participate in a preferred pharmacy network that includes Rite Aid, Kroger and Walmart pharmacies.

Together, WellPoint said, members had access to more than 11,000 locations around the country. The preferred pharmacy network is part of all of WellPoint’s affiliated Part D standalone prescription drug plans and most of its Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans.

"Launching this preferred pharmacy network not only saves members on their drug purchases, which helps them improve their adherence and their health, but also allows WellPoint’s affiliates to offer standalone PDP plans with more attractive premiums than in years past," WellPoint EVP and president for Medicare programs Leeba Lessin said.

Members can use any of the company’s retail network pharmacies, but they will receive savings of $5-$8 per co-pay on most drugs, depending on plan type and drug tier for using preferred network pharmacies. Additionally, all standalone PDP plans and a few MAPD plans will feature preferred generics for a $1 co-payment.

Representatives of WellPoint affiliates will staff booths at high-volume locations of the stores during Medicare’s Annual Election Period, which is between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7.

Chains in the network include Kroger, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, City Market, Fry’s, Smith’s, Dillons, Ralphs, QFC, Baker’s, Scott’s, Owen’s, Pay Less, Gerbes and JayC, as well as Walmart, Walmart Neighborhood Market and Sam’s Club.

 

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