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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 traditional
1, 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.