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Chain and independent pharmacies aim to retain customers
Walgreen, Wal-Mart, Kroger and various independent pharmacies are filling prescriptions for the newly enrolled even if they don’t have their health insurance identification cards yet.
The pharmacies say they are providing temporary benefits as a bridge through early 2014 and will offer 30-day fills with no upfront costs for consumers who have proof of enrollment in a marketplace health plan. Like insurance carriers that extended existing health plan policies into 2014 as a bridge for members, the pharmacies are hoping to retain business.
“Helping patients sort through new or revised health insurance coverage is business-as-usual for independent community pharmacies year-round and especially each January,” said National Community Pharmacists Association CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, in a statement. “Now more than ever that is the case with the advent of these new health plans.”
According to the organization, in 2006, community pharmacies offered emergency fills for seniors navigating the then-new Part D benefit.
“While health plans are the payer of first resort for the newly insured, most independent community pharmacists will provide emergency medication supplies, when appropriate, to their patients confirmed with new insurance coverage through the marketplaces, so that these patients don’t fall through the cracks,” according to Hoey.