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.