How Change Isn’t Always for the Better…

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.

Health care. I swear to you, it seems something or another changes with our health care insurance every year. From what’s covered, to how much it costs (always going up), to our co-pays, to who we can see and how often.

Luckily, we don’t, as a family, go to the doctor often. I grew up in a household that resorted to medicine and doctors as a last resort. It’s just the way it was, and I still kind of operate like that. Don’t get me wrong – if something is wrong, especially with Seven, we GO. For example, a week after having him home from the hospital when he was born, we were BACK in there for nearly 2 weeks with an infection. I was one crazy mother, let me tell you. So I pay attention to his health. Thankfully, he’s barely even had the sniffles since then.

That being said, my father is on the opposite end of the spectrum. I can’t even count on all my digits how many pills a day he takes. Every Day. He has insurance, which at his age isn’t inexpensive by any stretch, and I know he’s thankful for that. He is very fortunate that he can get his prescriptions filled whenever and wherever he chooses. It’s something not many people think about, right? You have a pharmacist, you’ve developed a relationship with them, they have your records, you know what to expect.

But what if a middle man that you never even noticed stepped in and told you you could no longer get your prescriptions where you used to? And that even though you’d have to pick up and move pharmacies, perhaps even out of town, you’d not be given a discount or savings of any sort for the hassle?

Sounds like fiction, but that’s just what is happening to MANY people, including our military.

In a strange turn of events, Walgreens, one of the largest, most well-known and well-loved pharmacies, is no longer a part of the Express Scripts network, despite Walgreens willingness to guarantee the best prices. Express Scripts chose not to negotiate at all with Walgreens, thusly forcing thousands of Walgreens and Express Script patients to find a new pharmacy for their needs, as of December 31, 2011.

One of Express Scripts’ clients is Tricare, which is the health and prescription drug program for America’s military service men and women. During negotiations, Walgreens took the unprecedented step of offering Express Scripts an ironclad guarantee that Walgreens prices would match or beat the average costs per adjusted prescription of all other pharmacies in the Tricare network. Walgreens did this in an effort to prevent our country’s military personnel from being caught in the middle. Walgreens also offered to contract separately with Express Scripts for Tricare from other Express Scripts commercial business, but these offers were rejected. Express Scripts continues to refuse to negotiate a separate contract for the benefit of the Tricare program and its beneficiaries.

Really sad, if you ask me. I can’t figure out why…especially when it seems to benefit no one other than Express Scripts.

In an effort to make things easier on those affected, Walgreens is offering a special discount on annual membership for its Prescription Savings Club. An individual can join during a special January promotion for only $5, or $10 for a family membership, and receive savings on more than 8,000 brand name and all generic medications. More than 400 generics are available with a three-month supply for less than $1 a week. Regular annual membership is $20 for an individual and $35 for a family.

Check your Prescription plan, and see if you will be affected. If you are, and Walgreens is your pharmacy of choice – let Express Scripts KNOW it. Write a letter! Take a stand. In the meantime, check out more about the Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. You can also stay up to date by following Walgreens on Twitter and Walgreens on Facebook

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