First Health Part D – Changes

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First Health Part D adds a plan and makes changes First Health Part D 2012 Changes

Medicare Part D plan providers are scrambling to make their 2014 prescription drug plans stand out.

Coventry Health Care is the insurance company behind the First Health Part D brand. Coventry’s First Health Part D plans will see minor changes for 2014 but the big change is the addition of a new prescription drug plan to the line up.

This article will address some of the changes for 2014 and give a sneak peak to the new First Health Part D plan. Part D plan benefits and formularies can vary by State so you should check benefits relative to the State where you live.

2014 First Health Part D – no earth shattering changes to existing plans

Coventry Health care has offered two First Health Part D plans:

First Health Part D – Premier (PDP)

  • Part D deductible required
  • Standard formulary – expanded for 2014
  • 4 tier cost sharing structure
  • Enhanced savings will mail order option

First Health Part D – Premier Plus (PDP)

  • No deductible – first dollar coverage
  • Expanded formulary – good for chronic health conditions
  • 5 tier cost sharing structure
  • Coverage in the gap – includes low copays / coinsurance
  • $0 copays on preferred generic drugs
  • Enhanced savings with mail order option

Both Premier and Premier Plus plans are available in all 50 States and the District of Columbia. The First Health Premier Plus plan will have a higher monthly premium due to the expanded formulary and richer benefits.

It will generally only be cost effective to choose a Part D plan with an expanded formulary if your drugs are not included in the plan with a standard formulary. It should be noted that there are plans available from carriers that offer a standard formulary but do not require a deductible.


New First Health Part D plan

One way that Part D providers can attract new members is to include additional benefits, some of which go beyond what what is generally expected of a prescription drug plan. for instance, CIGNA Medicare Rx has recently announced their Health Rewards program that offers extra benefits similar to those found in Medicare Advantage plans.

Coventry Medicare is wading into the waters by introducing their First Health Part D – Value Plus (PDP). For those people who do not require an expanded formulary this may become a very popular choice.

First Health Part D – Value Plus (PDP)

  • No deductible and very low premium
  • Basic formulary
  • $0 copays for preferred generic drugs at preferred pharmacies
  • Coupons for vitamins and supplements at preferred pharmacies
  • Plan has a focus on overall health and wellness

The move to lower member costs at preferred pharmacies seems to be making in roads with several major carriers starting with plans such as the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx plan that was introduced in 2011. Coventry seems to believe that this approach will like wise attract new members.

As you can see, with the exception of the new Value Plus plan the First Health Part D changes are really minimal. Visit the plan website or Medicare to see monthly premiums for available plans in your State.

 

34 comments

  1. When can we get full information for 2012 with formulary to determine if First Health Value Plus is competitive for my drugs.

  2. Lamont, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services which governs the Part D program considers all information related to a plan to be marketing. Plan marketing cannot begin until October 1st. After October 1st will be able to visit the plan website and see their Part D formulary.

  3. Celebrex 200 – what tier drug is this on your PDP plan 134 for 2012. What is the mnthl;y cost of this plan in ZIP 34201?

  4. Anyone with a computer can go to medicare.gov and compare drug plans by zipcode. The First Health Value Plan is coming up the cheapest for most people so far.

  5. Susan, Good point. Many people also dig a little deeper to make certain that a plan’s formulary will include all their drugs as well.

  6. Jerry, this site is not owned by Coventry Health Care or First Health Part D. You can visit the plan’s website and use the Look Up Tool.

  7. how can the pharmacy i use become a preferred pharmacy in the first health netowrk

  8. Scott, I’m guessing your pharmacy and First Health would have to reach an agreement on some set of mutually agreeable terms. Maybe approach either party with your question.

  9. Hi, what are some of the coupons for vitamins and suppliments. What do the coupons offer?
    thanks,

  10. Wm Kays, I’m sorry I didn’t dig that deep. You could visit the First Health Part D website to learn more about specific coupons offered.

  11. I am new on Medicare for the first year in 2012.
    Iwant to know how you find the monthly premiums on this First Health Part D.
    I am not on many meds but my husband is.

  12. Elsie, You can visit their website or medicare.gov to search for Part D plans in your area and see all premiums.

  13. why can’t I pull up drug costs from your listing at Medicare.gov.

  14. Madelyn, Here’s a link to an article on Navigating Medicare.gov.

  15. The First Health Value Plus plan is inappropriate for anyone with Extra Help with drug costs, as the lowest premium is over $21 a month. It does come up well on the planfinder for those who pay their own costs, especially if they want to use a pharmacy other than wal-mart. All states have a senior health insurance program which trains counselors who work at senior centers (like me) and other locations who can help people who are new to medicare or want to change plans.

  16. Cindy, I appreciate your point of view but also would caution people to put a little more emphasis on the plan’s formulary than the monthly premium. The individuals who receive extra help that are enrolled in the First Health Plan and are happy may disagree that the plan is inappropriate.

    There are also thousands of licensed insurance agents who must pass rigorous training and testing on an annual basis that can advise people on Medicare about Part D as it relates to their entire situation.

  17. Where do I find the formulary for First Health Part D Value Plus?

  18. Otis, Visit the Coventry website and click on Prescription Drug Plans. Enter your zip code to find your plan. Look for the formulary link or use their drug finder tool.

  19. What are your preferred pharmacies and is CVS one of them?

  20. Donna, Visit the Coventry First Health website, search for the plan in your area. You can then view the provider network.

  21. I talked to your repasenetive Tonight she supposed to send me e-mail about,
    First Health Part D – Value Plus (PDP)
    I am interesting signing up for Medicare drug D plan. Please send me application form and many information as possible. Kazuhiro Nishitani.

  22. Barbara McAllister

    How can I find out if my pharmacy participates in the First Health Value Plus drug plan?

  23. Barbara, The plan material you received when you enrolled should include a list. You can also call your pharmacy and ask.

  24. i recieved letter yesterday stating that i now have first health part d coverage and that i chose the direct payment method and recieved payment book for 30.50 per month due jan 1 2012, problem is i did not sign up for this program or payment plan! how do i resolve this issue?my current plan is free to me because i qualify for extra help and my circumstance has not changed please respond asap. thank you bonnie hugueley

  25. Bonnie, I would call First Health and let them know that you don’t recall signing up for their plan. I would further ask how the application was processed (mail, internet, phone, agent submission) and I would ask if there is an Agent of Record on file.

    With this information, contact your local SHIP (State health Insurance Assistance Program) office. They can help. If you have a copy of the Medicare & You handbook that you receive each year from Medicare, the phone number will be on the back.

  26. hello, I just signed my husband up for part d value plus and can not find where to go to on your site to make a list of medications so I can keep a tract of the cost of them during the year like I did his other plan.

  27. Barbara, This site is not operated by First Health Part D. Here’s a link to the Coventry First Health Part D site.

  28. I also got a payment book from them for $30.10 per month but called them because the letter I had received from Medicare said I would have no plan premium. First health simply stated it was ‘an error’ and to disregard the payment book. My guess is that they’re hoping people will pay without questioning it.

  29. Debp, It was probably an error. The penalties for charging you if you qualify for a $0 premium are much higher than the little bit of money received from ill-gotten premium.

  30. Considering First Health as our Part D coverage (will be new to Medicare May 1,2012. If we travel but have our prescriptions listed with First Health at the Wal-mart in our area (pharmacy in network), are any Wal-mart in other
    states considered to be in network?

  31. Mary-Jo, Yes, you will be able to fill your prescription at any Walmart.

  32. I would like to change my mailing address please.

  33. is pioglitazone hcl 30mg covered by your part d value plus. i could not find it among the formalated list. also if i now get most of my prescriptions thru the va can i change toyour plan without any penalty. thank u.

  34. Roy, This site is not owned by First Health. Normally if a drug is not listed it is not covered. You can enroll in a Part D plan and still use the VA. Enrolling in Part D does not stop your VA benefit of getting prescription drugs.

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