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Anthem Medicare Advantage Members Can Use OTC Allowance at CVS

Anthem Medicare Advantage Members in California can now spend their over-the-counter allowance at CVS Pharmacy locations.

Medicare Advantage and over the counter care

Source: Anthem / CVS Health

By Jennifer Bresnick

- Anthem Blue Cross (Anthem) Medicare Advantage members in California will now be allowed to purchase over-the-counter products at CVS Pharmacy stores using their health plan allowance.

The partnership, launched on January 1, is intended to make it simpler and easier for older beneficiaries to engage in self-care in a cost-effective manner.

Beneficiaries can purchase first aid supplies, orthopedic support braces, pain relievers, vitamins, and other items to maintain wellness and address minor health concerns.

“Creating an enhanced healthcare experience for Californians and giving them easier access to the products and services that aid consumers in leading healthier lives requires us to develop meaningful solutions for the individuals enrolled in our plans,” said Josh Martin, President of Anthem’s Medicare West Region.

“We are pleased to work together with CVS Pharmacy because we share the common goal of helping individuals manage their health in more effective ways. We believe that collaborations like this can make a tremendous difference for consumers who often are managing chronic medical conditions.”

Many of Anthem’s Medicare Advantage options include an over-the-counter allowance, sometimes up to $300 per quarter. 

For older adults on fixed incomes, the allowance can support better health maintenance, chronic disease management, and preventive care to avoid more expensive healthcare needs.

“CVS Pharmacy is pleased to partner with Anthem Blue Cross to offer plan consumers increased access to the products they need to care for themselves,” said Hank Casillas, Division Vice President, CVS Pharmacy.

“This collaboration ensures that Anthem Medicare Advantage plan consumers are able to purchase medications and other health-related products at one of hundreds of CVS Pharmacy locations in California, helping them achieve their best health.”

Anthem has a similar partnership with Walmart, which also began on the first of the year. 

“Creating a better healthcare future requires us to think differently about how we can develop innovative and meaningful healthcare solutions for consumers,” said Felicia Norwood, Executive Vice President and President, Government Business Division, Anthem, in August of 2018.

”We are pleased to join with Walmart to create an initiative that combines Anthem’s deep understanding of the needs of senior consumers, with Walmart’s unwavering commitment to saving people money and developing a seamless shopping experience. We believe that programs like this can make a tremendous difference for healthcare consumers who often live on a fixed income or are managing chronic medical conditions.”


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