My husband is a retired military veteran and as such we had the opportunity to maintain our health insurance through the retired military program they have with Tricare Insurance. We pay an annual premium and have copays for office visits and prescriptions.
The prescription program used by Tricare is called Express Scripts and in the past we could fill our prescriptions at Walgreens which is about 3 minutes from our house. The only other pharmacy within 20 minutes or so is a tiny one inside the local grocery store.
On January 1, 2012 we ceased to be able to fill our prescriptions at Walgreens because Express Scripts would not renew Walgreens contract to participate as a provider in their network despite Walgreens attempts to provide low rates and agree to rate freezes for military members.
Express Scripts seems to be trying to encourage people to use their mail order service as opposed to local pharmacies, the problem is that it is not always an option to use a mail order service. Sometimes you need your script right way. We do use Express Scripts mail order service for our regular scripts that we get every month and it does save us money, but what about things like antibiotics and items that you need immediately? Mail order does not work in those cases.
Express Scripts has made it harder for us to get our medicine, has made it more expensive for use to get them because of gas prices and on top of that has raised copays to 1 1/2 times the rates from last year.
But Walgreens is trying to help.
The Walgreens Prescription Savings Club provides relief for those affected by the dispute between Walgreens and Express Script.
For $10 a year, a family membership covers everyone in your immediate family, including a spouse, dependents 22 and younger and pets. Individuals may join for $5.
Join and receive discount prices on your prescriptions. Other benefits include:
- Savings on more than 8,000 brand-name and all generic medications
- Discounts on flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizers and diabetic supplies
- Bonuses when you purchase Walgreens and Nice! brand products and photofinishing services
Walgreens obviously values their relationship with their customers!