Detailed Analysis Available Live From HealthLeaders-InterStudy    What: Live access to an analyst specializing in Medicare markets    Who:  Senior Correspondent John Harkey, PhD    How:  Available to speak to media by phone and in person-Nashville, Tenn.         at 781-296-2562  

On Friday, September 23, 2005, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued its approval to plans that will offer Medicare prescription drug coverage starting January 1, 2006.

Humana Inc. will now offer stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) in 46 states. It had the lowest bid in every state in which it competed. But even more interestingly, its bids were not just a bit lower, they were, on average, $10 below its nearest competitor in each state. No one anticipated bids this low.

Humana is well known in some regions, such as Florida, Texas, and Kentucky, but it has clearly decided that it will become a nationally known health plan, and that its vehicle for becoming known will be its presence in managed Medicare.

Dr. John Harkey is a well-known healthcare market analyst, with over 20 years of experience. He can clarify the complex new managed Medicare market, and address questions such as:

  * Is Humana basing its pricing on the hope of attracting predominantly     relatively young and healthy Medicare enrollees?   * Is Humana hoping to convert these drug plan members to one of its     Medicare Advantage products over time?   * Will this pricing move on Humana's part benefit everyone, by providing a     price that will encourage Medicare members to sign up for what are,     after all, unfamiliar and untested drug plans?  

To speak with Dr. Harkey, please contact Alex Jablokow at Decision Resources at 781-296-2562 or

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PRNewswire -- Oct. 6

SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

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