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UnitedHealthcare Medicare Drug Plans Continue to Offer Stable Costs and Broad List of Covered Drugs in 2008


As the result of an open market bidding process administered by the Medicare program, UnitedHealthcare will not be in a position to offer approximately 650,000 of its auto-enrolled low-income subsidy members a zero premium option in 18 of 34 U.S. regions. The Company’s 2008 bids exceeded the low-income premium benchmarks set by Medicare for its auction-type process. Those members will be directed by the Medicare program to other Part D plans whose bids fell below the market averages for all bids. However, Federal regulations allow UnitedHealthcare to contact these members and make them aware of their available plan coverage. Members can elect to pay the modest difference above the benchmark in their region, remain in their UnitedHealthcare plan, and continue their access to UnitedHealthcare’s comprehensive drug formulary.

The Company’s prescription drug plans did qualify to serve beneficiaries receiving a low-income subsidy from the Medicare program in 16 out of 34 regions of the country in 2008.

“We are very attuned to the costs that low income subsidy members incur under this program and took a disciplined and thoughtful approach as we developed our 2008 bids. About half of our local bids were slightly higher than the low income subsidy benchmarks set by the annual auction process,” said Anthony Welters, president of UnitedHealth Group’s Public and Senior Markets Group. “Our plans today serve nearly 6 million people across a variety of products. In 2008 we will continue to offer excellent value in all regions, based on our broad, inclusive formularies and excellent customer service.”

“We are confident that our 2008 product portfolio will continue to attract a broad range of new members during the open enrollment period and through employers seeking drug coverage that provides additional value for their retirees through 2008. We expect the loss of auto-enrolled dual eligible members in select regions will have a minimal impact on our overall earnings performance,” Welters concluded.


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