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Seniors Can Still Enroll in Medicare Health Plans, Even After May 15 Deadline; Medicare Advantage Enrollment Still Open; Plans May Save Seniors Money on Prescription Drugs

Category:

Thursday, June 1, 2006 9:21 am EDT

Dateline:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
HUM
US4448591028
"We encourage everyone to research their options thoroughly and decide what's best for them. This analysis shows that MA plans can be a viable, cost-saving alternative to stand-alone drug coverage, and they should be considered in the realm of options available to seniors"
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 1, 2006--Although the May 15 Medicare prescription drug plan (PDP) enrollment deadline has passed, many seniors eligible for Medicare may still enroll through June 30 in Medicare Advantage plans. These plans offer comprehensive medical benefits and may help seniors save money on prescription drugs. After June 30, the ability to enroll in Medicare health plan will be limited to those who meet certain criteria specified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) until the next enrollment period, which begins November 15, 2006.

"With all of the publicity surrounding the May 15 deadline, many people are unaware they may still be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, through June 30," said Steve Brueckner, vice president for senior products for Humana. "More than four million consumers still have the opportunity to sign up for Medicare health plans, if they have not already used all their enrollment elections. They need to know their options so they can choose the best, most cost-effective plan based on their individual needs."

Even though the general Medicare population's deadline to enroll in Medicare Part D has passed, there are still a large number of people who qualify for enrollment in Part D beyond May 15th, including those:

-- Aging in, or just becoming eligible for Medicare

-- Eligible for a low-income subsidy to assist with expenses

-- Dually eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid

-- Switching from a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage (MA-PD) to a prescription drug coverage only plan

-- Consumers who have a Part D or MA-PD plan who moved and changed service areas - as they can enroll once after moving

Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Katrina have also been granted an even longer extension for enrollment. Residents who resided in designated areas of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi that were impacted by Hurricane Katrina can enroll in a PDP through Dec. 31, 2006.

Plan Comparison Shows Seniors Can Save Money

"People have been so focused on the new Part D drug coverage that many haven't stopped to consider more comprehensive plans," Brueckner said.

According to an analysis of cost-sharing features of Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans (MA-PD) and stand-alone PDP prepared for the Kaiser Family Foundation, seniors could pay twice as much for prescription drug coverage with a stand-alone PDP than with a Medicare Advantage plan. The analysis showed that Medicare Advantage plans, on average, charge less for drug coverage ($18 per month) than stand-alone drug plans ($32 per month).

"We encourage everyone to research their options thoroughly and decide what's best for them. This analysis shows that MA plans can be a viable, cost-saving alternative to stand-alone drug coverage, and they should be considered in the realm of options available to seniors," Brueckner said.

For help in determining eligibility, call 1-800-833-6578. For more information, visit www.humana-medicare.com or www.medicare.gov. Certain restrictions may apply to the Medicare Advantage and PDP enrollment options.

About Humana

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation's largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 9.3 million medical members. Humana offers a diversified portfolio of health insurance products and related services -- through traditional and consumer-choice plans -- to employer groups, government-sponsored plans, and individuals.

Over its 45-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company's web site at http://www.humana.com, including copies of:

-- Annual report to stockholders;

-- Securities and Exchange Commission filings;

-- Most recent investor conference presentation;

-- Quarterly earnings news releases;

-- Replays of most recent earnings release conference call;

-- Calendar of events (includes upcoming earnings conference call dates, times, and access number, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors);

-- Corporate Governance Information.

Contact:

Humana Corporate Communications
Dick Brown, 502-580-3683
dbrown4@humana.com