CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee today announced plans to work with an affiliate of Caremark Rx, Inc. to enroll BlueCross65 members in RxSavings, the Medicare-endorsed discount drug card program. The card will help Medicare beneficiaries save money and improve the safety of taking multiple prescriptions.

The RxSavings program, which begins on June 1, offers cardholders a variety of choices and locations for filling their prescriptions. Enrollees in the RxSavings program are expected to save an average of more than 20 percent off normal retail prices on the most commonly prescribed brand and generic prescription medications at network retail pharmacies. The annual enrollment fee is $19.95.

The program is made possible by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, which was designed to give beneficiaries relief from rising prescription drug costs.

“We have taken the lead to help Medicare beneficiaries get a price break on prescriptions through the RxSavings program,” said Joan Harp, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for BlueCross. “Seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries frequently are taking multiple medications, more than any other population, so they also will benefit from the safety of a managed program.“

The RxSavings drug utilization review system will conduct safety checks for program cardholders. The drug utilization review process starts when a pharmacist enters a prescription into the pharmacy’s computer system. It is then relayed to the RxSavings system to identify the patient and verify price and payment terms.

At the same time, the system reviews the patient’s active prescription history for potential therapeutic conflicts; the database includes every drug the patient has filled at any pharmacy using the RxSavings card.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services an estimated 7.3 million Medicare beneficiaries are expected to enroll in discount drug card programs across the country. CMS estimates nationwide prescription savings of up to $1.8 billion.

Beneficiaries can obtain more information on the Medicare discount drug card by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or going online to www.Medicare.gov.

To enroll in RxSavings, beneficiaries can call 1-866-216-5765.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.