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AvMed To Offer Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to Medicare Beneficiaries; Health Plan Offers Additional Help to Medicare Recipients in Dade and Broward Counties.

MIAMI -- AvMed Health Plans announced today that it has been awarded a contract by the federal government to offer a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to Medicare beneficiaries in Dade and Broward Counties.

AvMed is one of the health plans selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer the new prescription drug benefit in South Florida.

"AvMed has provided health care coverage to Medicare beneficiaries in Dade and Broward Counties since 1983, and we're thrilled to be part of the federal government's effort to offer this new prescription drug benefit to eligible beneficiaries," said Doug Cueny, AvMed's President and Chief Operating Officer. "Our plans will cover both brand name and generic drugs and help Medicare members to pay for the prescriptions they need."

Both of AvMed's Medicare Advantage HMO plans in Dade and Broward Counties will offer the prescription drug plans at no monthly premium. Low-income Medicare beneficiaries can also qualify for additional help under the program, such as paying no deductibles and having lower or no co-pays for prescription drugs.

Additionally, AvMed will offer a local Medicare Advantage PPO plan that allows members to see doctors outside the AvMed provider network. Under all of the plans, AvMed's Medicare Advantage members can get easy access to specialists without needing prior authorization from their primary care physician.

Under CMS guidelines, health plans can begin marketing to Medicare members on October 1. Starting that day, Medicare beneficiaries can call AvMed's toll-free line at 1-800-835-6137 for more information on the Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans. Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for AvMed's plans starting November 15, with coverage taking effect January 1.

AvMed will be able to answer questions about the drug plans from Medicare members at any time. At AvMed, Medicare beneficiaries have access to a live and local member services helpline, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Medicare members will be able to call us anytime that's convenient for them, day or night, if they have questions about how our Medicare prescription drug plans work," Cueny said.

The new drug plan known as Part D comes as a part of the Medicare Modernization Act 2003. It is the first time that Medicare has ever offered prescription drug benefits to seniors.

About AvMed Health Plans

AvMed Health Plans is Florida's largest not-for-profit health plan, improving access to health care for members for more than 30 years, while serving Florida communities in all major metropolitan areas of the state. Through an extensive broker network, AvMed offers health care coverage on a fully insured and self-funded basis for employer groups in Florida. Additionally, AvMed offers health care products to Medicare Beneficiaries in South Florida. Headquartered in Florida, AvMed has offices in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville and Jacksonville. For more information, visit http://www.AvMed.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 29, 2005
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