Beginning September 15, 2012, new and existing Anthem Blue Cross members, including those enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid plans, will once again have Walgreens as one of their in-network pharmacies. Other Walgreens-owned pharmacies, such as Duane Reade and Happy Harry’s will also be considered as in-network pharmacies, giving Anthem Blue Cross members access to more than 64,000 in-network retail pharmacies across the country.
Express Scripts (ESI) and Walgreens reached an agreement last week and Anthem Blue Cross is working with Express Scripts to ensure a smooth transition for members who may wish to transfer their prescriptions to Walgreens. In most cases, members may simply take their medicine bottle to Walgreens and they will transfer the prescription. In some states, including New York, and for some medications, members will need to ask their doctor to call Walgreens with the prescription details.
Remember that this change will not take effect until Saturday September 15, 2012. Until then, Walgreens is still an out-of-network pharmacy. If your plan offers out-of-network benefits an you use Walgreens before September 15, you will have to pay the full retail price and submit a claim, and the benefits may be lower than if you used an in-network pharmacy. If you do not have an out-of-network pharmacy benefit, you will have to pay the full price of the prescription at the point of sale and will not be able to get a reimbursement. To confirm if your pharmacy in in-network check the list of participating pharmacy providers online or call the customer service number on the back of your membership card. Members are encouraged to wait until September 15th to fill the prescriptions at Walgreens in order to receive in-network pharmacy benefits, and continue to use their current pharmacy in the meantime.