Californis Blue Cross tells us- eff.January- we can no longer use Walgreen if we want to get our drugs there using their insurance. What's the reason? How does that relate to Express Scripts? The Blue Cross insurance is expensive. Hate not to use Walgreen-We own significant amount of WAG stock. What is your advice? -Harry
California Blue Cross uses Express Scripts to administer their drug benefit. Express scripts is not likely to have a contract with Walgreens. Sooo..because you are stuck with Blue Cross of California, and they are in turn stuck with Express Scripts, you probably won't be able to fill at Walgreens starting January 1.
Options for you:
1) Change your insurance carrier--this may or may not be possible for you. If you insurance is through your work, you probably don't have any choice. If it is purchased privately, you should be able to shop around in the California marketplace and find a different plan.
Note: If you cannot change your plan, call your HR dept and Blue Cross representative and let them know that this situation is unacceptable. Many people such as yourself have done exactly this, and a lot of companies have dropped express scripts as a result of input from unhappy employees. Most other plans are more customer-friendly anyway, as they almost always allow 90-day fills at retail, whereas very few Express Plans allow that benefit.
2) You can change the pharmacy you use. Granted, you will lose access to the widest network of pharmacies in the country, but you will at least still be able to get your medicines, just so long as you don't mind being a pawn for a company whose sole goal (apparently) is to line the pockets of investors and corporate execs (I say this because their reimbursement levels are the lowest in the industry). Ultimately, if they had their way, everyone would be filling their scripts at Walmart or through Express Scripts mailorder (such a lovely business model)!!
Incidentally, if your age on your profile is accurate, you might have a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan administered through Blue Cross of California. If that is the case, open enrollment for you (for calender year 2012) begins Oct. 15th though Dec. 7th. I would recommend going to www.medicare.gov or calling 1-800-MEDICARE. You can use either to input your medications and get a listing of all plans available to you in your area, what they would cost you (utilizing your 2011 medications), and contact info for how to sign up with those plans. Once you've done that, just ask the representative of the company you are signing up with who administers their prescription benefit and if Walgreens is in their network.