Low-Cost Prescription Drug Plan Launched By Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET)

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Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET) has launched a prescription drug plan that will be offered at a low cost and which is targeting active consumers who are cost-conscious. Starting next year on January 1, the prescription drug plan known as Aetna Medicare Rx Select will be made available in 27 states as well as Washington, D.C.

The Aetna Medicare Rx Select will be offered at monthly premiums averaging $18. Aetna Medicare Rx Select comes with $0 copays for about 80 generic medications in Tier 1 from preferred pharmacies that include ShopRite, Publix, Albertsons Companies and Kroger Co (NYSE:KR). Members will thus be able to shop at over 41,500 pharmacies located across the United States. In some cases more than 18,500 pharmacies will offer some medications at even lower costs.

Affordability and accessibility

“We know rising prescription drug costs are a big concern for Medicare beneficiaries. That’s why we designed a plan that offers generic drugs at low and predictable costs, with one of the lowest monthly premiums available nationwide,” Aetna Medicare’s head and senior vice president, Nancy Cocozza, said.

The introduction of Aetna Medicare Rx Select comes in the wake of Aetna announcing a plan to give away Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Apple Watch devices numbering over half a million to its customers beginning next year. This follows a pilot program where the devices were given to employees of Aetna last year.

Health apps

Apps that have been co-developed by Apple and Aetna will be installed on the devices and these will be used in corporate wellness programs. The apps will serve the purpose of sending users alerts to remind them to refill prescriptions or take necessary medications on time for instance. According to media reports discussions between Aetna and Apple were initially held earlier in the year with a view to launching the program which is currently headed by a former executive of Walmart’s health division, Ben Wanamaker.

Competitors of Apple such as Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT) have also partnered with health insurers. UnitedHealthcare customers who own Fitbit Charge 2 for instance receive credits amounting to as much as $1,500 in a program that was developed by the two companies.

In Wednesday’s trading session shares of Aetna Inc closed at $175.44 a share.

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