DEERFIELD, Ill., December 30, 2013 - As newly insured Americans begin using their benefits under the Affordable Care Act, Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) will provide medications to those patients who may have difficulty using their new insurance coverage because they haven't received a plan identification number yet from their insurer. In those situations, through the end of January, patients can bring confirmation of their enrollment in the public health insurance marketplace to a Walgreens pharmacy, or the pharmacy staff can check to verify eligibility, and Walgreens will assist them by providing up to a month of a traditional1, brand and generic medication at no upfront cost.
“We understand that all the changes that come with health care reform may create some questions for newly enrolled individuals,” said Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness for Walgreens. “We are deeply committed to helping these patients get, stay and live well by helping them to get their medications without interruption.”
The announcement is one of several measures Walgreens is taking to help achieve the smoothest possible transition for those insured as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
Walgreens is reaching out to insurance companies’ operations groups to request nightly eligibility file updates on health insurance marketplace plan enrollees to help ensure Walgreens pharmacy teams have the most up-to-date coverage information. Walgreens is also encouraging patients who enrolled through the public marketplace to confirm coverage with their insurance company and bring to the pharmacy current benefit information. With that benefit information, Walgreens pharmacy staff will individually review patient benefits and work with the patient’s insurance company directly to confirm benefit eligibility.
To assist newly insured patients, Walgreens is working with United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) , National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the White House and will remain in frequent conversation to raise any common issues that may arise.
Walgreens is uniquely positioned to support newly insured Americans, improve health care delivery and help meet the needs of patients, payers and the health care system at large through its health care assets and expansive retail footprint. Walgreens offers more than 8,100 points of care conveniently accessible within three miles of 63 percent of the population, and two-thirds of Walgreens stores serve medically underserved areas throughout the U.S.
1 Traditional prescription excludes complex therapy medications.
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2013 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to be the first choice in health and daily living for everyone in America, and beyond. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,197 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers, provider practices, and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 750 locations throughout the country.
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