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Walgreens will not accept TRICARE for military, retirees after Dec. 31

By Cindy Ramirez / El Paso Times

Service members, retirees and their families will no longer be able to fill their TRICARE prescriptions at Walgreens pharmacies after Dec. 31 due to an unresolved contract dispute.

TRICARE is the health-care program that serves the military, retirees and their families, and it has about 9.6 million beneficiaries worldwide.

The dispute between Walgreens and the company that manages TRICARE’s pharmacy benefit, Express Scripts, means thousands will have to switch to other pharmacies within the network or sign up for TRICARE’s home delivery program before the new year, officials said. Other participating TRICARE pharmacies include Walmart, Albertsons and Target, as well as local companies Coleman Pharmacy and Advant-Edge Pharmacy.

Any TRICARE member who fills a prescription at Walgreens after Dec. 31 will have to pay the entire cost out of pocket and will need to file a paper claim for non-network benefit reimbursement, according to the Express Scripts website.

“It’s too bad a major pharmacy like Walgreens won’t take our prescriptions. A lot of people like myself have used them for years and years,” said retired Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Nogales, who’s enrolled in the TRICARE program with his family. “Maybe they can still work something out. For now we’ll have to find somewhere else to get our meds.”

Southern Utah Vets Aid of Saint George, Utah suggests that perhaps Walgreens does not care that much for us veterans and has put big profits in front of our needs.  We understand that business decisions are made by big corporations, that’s how they stay in business.  However, the writing is on the wall, and me and my family will no longer patronize Walgreens for any products come January, 2012 when Walgreens leaves the Tri-care and XPress Scrips programs.

Pat Lisi/Southern Utah Vets Aid

 

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