The Blue Cross health plan announced today that more than 110,000 Minnesotans have availed Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Northern Plains Alliance.
The company said that it was processing 10,000 Part D applications each day and that as far as they were concerned there was no problem with the plan. "The fact that people see the value of Part D and are moving to Part D coverage in droves certainly is affirmation of the program even as it is the source of much the difficulty being reported," said Deborah Madson, Blue Cross vice president of government programs. Blue Cross started preparing early in 2005 for the beginning of these plans and conducted massive research in order to find out what the needs of the citizens were. Pharmacists played an active role in spreading information regarding the various plans. "We prepared for many different scenarios, but despite everyone's best efforts there have been some start up problems to be expected with a program this size. Health plans, pharmacies, the state and federal governments - we're all working through the challenges of getting a brand new and exceedingly popular program up and running. We're pleased that things are getting better on a daily basis," said pharmacist Mark Whittier, owner of Canby Drug and Gift, and on the front lines of Part D outreach in greater Minnesota. Blue Cross said that its local presence and reach was responsible for the great success of the plan.
Blue Cross has set up a special Medicare Part D helpline so enrollees can get help the same day by calling 1-888-832-0075. More information on Medicare Part D can be found at http://www.bluecrossmn.com.