Many military families who use independent or community pharmacies soon will have to find an alternative source for their prescription medication needs.
Approximately 15,000 community pharmacies will leave the TRICARE retail pharmacy network on Oct. 24. Nearly 400,000 beneficiaries, or roughly 4% of the TRICARE-eligible population, will be affected by the change.
Impacted beneficiaries will receive a letter from Express Scripts with a list of alternative in-network pharmacies. Walgreens and CVS remain in-network, as do many grocery store pharmacies and smaller chains. Network pharmacies also can be found using this online search tool.
[FROM TRICARE.MIL: Network Pharmacy Coverage]
After Oct. 24, beneficiaries who continue to fill prescriptions at departing community pharmacies will pay the full retail price for the medication.
To transfer a prescription, beneficiaries can:
- Take their prescription bottles to another participating pharmacy in the network. The pharmacist there will contact the previous pharmacy and transfer the prescription.
- Call the new pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to obtain the prescription information from the old pharmacy.
- Ask their doctor to send the prescription information to the new pharmacy.
- Visit the Express Scripts website to switch eligible medications to home delivery.
Even with the departure of community pharmacies, Express Scripts reports the TRICARE retail network will continue to meet or exceed TRICARE’S pharmacy access standard of at least one pharmacy within a 15-minute drive of 90% of beneficiaries.
[RELATED: MOAA’s TRICARE Toolkit]
Share Your Feedback
MOAA is concerned about how this change will impact military families, particularly those in rural areas who lost access to Walmart pharmacy services less than a year ago.
We want to hear from members who will lose access to their community pharmacy. Your feedback helps determine the ground truth of these policy changes – it’s essential to MOAA’s ongoing discussions with Express Scripts, the Defense Health Agency, and lawmakers of all stripes as we continue the fight to preserve your earned health care benefit.
Please share how losing access to community pharmacies impacts you by filling out MOAA's Legislative Action Center engagement form or by emailing email@example.com.
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