NU Online News Service, March 2, 2005, 2:32 p.m. EST

A Minnetonka, Minn., health insurer has agreed to provide prescription benefits for older Americans.[@@]

The insurer, UnitedHealth Group Inc., says its Ovations unit has applied for permission from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services to be a national player in the new Medicare Part D drug benefit program.

Ovations and other UnitedHealth units already participate in many Medicare programs, UnitedHealth says.