Do you fill prescriptions at Walgreens? If so, I have some information that you may find interesting.
Up until now, Walgreens and Express Script s have been working together to provide customers with the prescription medications they need. Express Scripts is the go-between for pharmacies and employers with health plans that pay for medications.
Unfortunately, this partnership ended with the beginning of 2012 because the two entities could not reach a mutually acceptable agreement. So now, Walgreens is not included in the Express Scripts’ pharmacy provider network.
Walgreens tried very hard to salvage the deal to enable them to continue serving the many people who have come to rely on Walgreens for prescriptions. They even offered to hold rates flat without any increases. Express Script’s response? They insisted on unilateral definition of contract terms. Express Scripts also planned to cut Walgreens reimbursement rates to unheard of levels.
Walgreens is continuing to try to reduce the impact on patients even after this dissolution. They have come up with a way to enable many patients to continue to use Walgreens using a special Walgreens Prescription Savings Club . Spend $10 annually for a family membership that covers everyone in your immediate family — spouse, dependents 22 and younger and even pets! Individual membership is $5 annually. This means that only a small number of patients are probably affected at this time — check the back of your insurance card – if it says “Express Scripts,” then you may be affected. If it doesn’t say Express Scripts, you are probably OK.
How do customers feel about this? Well, a recent survey showed that 82 percent of employers would not exclude Walgreens if the savings was less than 5 percent on their total expenditure. Sixty percent of of those surveyed said that they would not exclude Walgreens for less than 10 percent savings. A whopping 21 percent said that they would not exclude Walgreens from their network period.