WellPoint Affiliated Health Plans Send Pill Boxes to Medicare Members at
Risk of not Taking Medications
Adherence is a Challenge among Those with Certain Chronic Conditions
INDIANAPOLIS -- February 18, 2013
WellPoint, Inc. and its affiliated health plans (WellPoint) have distributed
pill boxes at no extra cost to more than 187,000 members of Medicare Advantage
and Prescription Drug plans across the country as a friendly reminder for them
to take their medicines.
Medication adherence is an important issue for anyone, but particularly for
seniors who are more prone to chronic diseases, such as diabetes and
hypertension. According to one study, people with chronic diseases typically
take only 50 percent of doses prescribed by their doctors, costing the system
more than $100 billion annually, due primarily to hospitalizations that
otherwise could have been avoided.^i
There are a number of reasons people don’t take their medications. Perhaps the
most common is simple forgetfulness.
To address this, WellPoint identified Medicare members on long-term
medications who were having difficulty with adherence and sent them pill
boxes. The clear boxes are designed to hold a week of medication, including
vitamins and over-the-counter drugs. The boxes help members keep their pills
organized, and remind them when a dose is due or missed and when refills are
“It’s important for people to remember that their doctor prescribed their
medication for a reason,” said Dr. Catherine McLean, WellPoint’s vice
president of clinical quality. “They should take their drugs as they were
prescribed and in the dosage prescribed. If they have any concerns, they
should always contact their primary care physician before making any
For the sake of safety, recipients were asked to keep the boxes away from
children and pets.
About WellPoint, Inc.
At WellPoint, we believe there is an important connection between our members’
health and well-being—and the value we bring our customers and shareholders.
So each day we work to improve the health of our members and their
communities. And, we can make a real difference since we have more than 36
million people in our affiliated health plans, and nearly 67 million people
served through our subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross
and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross
licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado,
Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30
counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the
Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and
surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee
in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern
Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these
service areas, WellPoint’s plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue
Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue
Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas).
WellPoint also serves customers throughout the country as UniCare and in
certain markets through our Amerigroup and CareMore subsidiaries. Our 1-800
CONTACTS, Inc. subsidiary offers customers online sales of contact lenses,
eyeglasses and other ocular products. Additional information about WellPoint
is available at www.wellpoint.com.
WellPoint affiliated plans are health plans with a Medicare contract.
WellPoint affiliated plans are stand-alone prescription drug plans with a
^i Osterberg L, Blaschke T. Adherence to medication. N Engl J Med
Doug Bennett Jr., (502) 889.2103
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