Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) today announced it is extending through April 15 its program to provide medications to newly insured Americans enrolled under the Affordable Care Act, who have difficulty using their new insurance coverage because they haven't received a plan identification number yet from their insurer. Walgreens will continue to assist recently enrolled individuals by providing up to one month of a traditional 1, brand or generic medication at no upfront cost upon verification of eligibility. Individuals enrolled ahead of the March 31 public health insurance marketplace open enrollment deadline can bring confirmation of their enrollment to any Walgreens pharmacy, or the pharmacy staff can check to verify eligibility. Walgreens encourages public marketplace enrolled patients to confirm coverage with their insurance company and bring to the pharmacy current benefit information. With that benefit information, Walgreens pharmacy staff can individually review patient benefits and work with the patient’s insurance company directly to confirm benefit eligibility. The program was first announced in December to help achieve the smoothest possible transition for those whose insurance coverage, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, began on Jan. 1. “We’re committed to helping those who’ve signed up for coverage through state and federal marketplaces access their medication without interruption, and anticipate a growing need leading up to, and following the March 31 enrollment deadline,” said Kermit Crawford, president of pharmacy, health and wellness for Walgreens. “We’ll continue to support the newly insured and are also continuing our efforts to help simplify the enrollment process for those in our communities who may still be in need of insurance coverage.” Working with GoHealth, Walgreens launched a nationwide initiative in October to assist customers considering the new health insurance marketplaces. Through the GoHealth Marketplace, those who are still considering insurance options available through the Affordable Care Act legislation have access to one-on-one support from a licensed GoHealth advisor who can help them shop and compare health insurance plans, enroll and find other important tools and information. Consumers can access the GoHealth Marketplace online at www.walgreens.com/healthcarereform or via phone at 855-487-6969. The consumer education initiative is one of several measures Walgreens has taken to ease health reform transition.
Walgreens remains in frequent conversation 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 to raise any common issues that may arise as customers become enrolled and patients seek access to needed medications.About Walgreens 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 8,206 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. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements. Statements in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "expect," "likely," "outlook," "forecast, "would," "could," "should," "can," "will," "project," "intend," "plan," "goal," “target,” "continue," "sustain," "synergy," "on track," "believe," "seek," "estimate," "anticipate," "may," "possible," "assume," variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, those described in Item 1A (Risk Factors) of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is incorporated herein by reference, and in other documents that we file or furnish with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those indicated or anticipated by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Except to the extent required by law, Walgreens does not undertake, and expressly disclaims, any duty or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement after the initial distribution of this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise. 1 Traditional prescription excludes complex therapy medications.