Express Scripts Expands Medicare Part D Offerings

The Express Scripts Medicare Value and Choice plans cover up to 75% of costs after the deductible for specialty drugs.

Express Scripts recently announced they will be offering a novel Medicare prescription drug plan for 2018. The Saver plan will feature low premiums and provide access to nearly 3000 common medications and a network that includes CVS Pharmacy and Kroger Family of Pharmacies, according to a press release.

"When it comes to a Medicare Part D plan, there is no such thing as one size fits all," said Jennie Knisley, vice president, Medicare prescription drug plans, Express Scripts. “Express Scripts' ability to work with different partners across the pharmacy supply chain allows us to create a variety of valuable plans that provide safe, high-quality access to prescription medications for all seniors.”

Previously, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the average basic premium for prescription drug plans in 2018 is projected to be $33.50 per month. The Saver plan offers a $22.60 per month premium, which averages less than $1 per day, according to Express Scripts. For patients, an $11 savings per month is significant, especially those with a fixed income.

Additionally, Part D enrollees will benefit from a $0 deductible for tier 1 and 2 generics. When a 30-day prescription is filled at a CVS or Kroger pharmacy, patients will pay a $1 co-pay for tier 1 generics and $4 co-pay for tier 2 generic drugs.

The pharmacy benefit manager has also created the Express Scripts Medicare Value and Choice plans to provide a more inclusive formulary and a benefit that will cover up to 75% of costs after the deductible for specialty drugs, according to the release.

"Our new Saver plan is a low-cost option for seniors who need a plan that provides the essentials and helps them affordably avoid delayed enrollment penalties, while our Choice and Value plans provide broader medication access and preferred pharmacy options for seniors with more complex medication needs,” Knisley said.

In 2018, Express Scripts reports that the Choice plan will provide gap coverage for certain tier 3 drugs above the standard coverage.

The Value and Choice plans have a preferred pharmacy network that includes Walgreens, Kroger, and more than 12,000 independent pharmacies, highlighting the significant choices patients will have, according to the release.

"Express Scripts Medicare plans are built on more than a decade of experience providing care to millions of Medicare beneficiaries," Knisley said. "All enrollees have 24/7 access to Express Scripts pharmacists to answer prescription medication questions, and access to our specialist pharmacists and nurses who have enhanced condition-specific training and experience, and offer patients with ongoing personalized care and support to ensure optimal health outcome