Meridian Health Plan Applauds CVS Tobacco Sales Cessation

Feb 13, 2014, 11:12 ET from Meridian Health Plan

DETROIT, Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Meridian Health Plan supports CVS Caremark in its decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products by October 1.

Many chronic health conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease and respiratory conditions are linked to smoking, making it the leading cause of premature death in the United States.

"CVS' decision aligns perfectly with Meridian's mission to improve the quality of care in low resource environments," said Jon Cotton, President of Meridian's Michigan affiliate. "As a coordinated care health plan, we focus on preventing and managing chronic diseases and smoking cessation is a key component of this. We applaud CVS' dedication to preventive health efforts and are proud to have CVS Caremark as a network pharmacy provider for all of our health plans."

To encourage members to receive preventive health care and adopt healthy behaviors, Meridian Health Plan utilizes a gift card incentive program. "Because of CVS' decision to stop selling tobacco products, we will transition our members to CVS gift cards only," Cotton said. "We will actively try to steer our 400,000 Medicaid members to CVS for their pharmacy and personal care needs, as member well-being is our primary concern."

Meridian Health Plan is a physician-owned, physician-operated health plan with extensive experience in its subsidiary operations in Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire. Meridian's affiliates include Medicaid and Medicare health and prescription drug plans, a commercial plan available through the Health Insurance Marketplace and MeridianRx, a Pharmacy Benefit Management company. Meridian Health Plan currently serves more than 400,000 Medicaid members. For more information, visit

SOURCE Meridian Health Plan