A December decision by a major insurer to drop Walgreens from its Illinois medicaid plan is making it harder for thousands of low-income residents in the state to get prescriptions filled.
The Chicago Tribune reports Aetna’s decision to exclude the Walgreens chain from its Aetna Better Health of Illinois pharmacy network affects about 400,000 state residents. In a written statement, Aetna, which owns Walgreens’ rival CVS, responded it has nearly 2,000 in-network pharmacies statewide for Medicaid members, including independent pharmacies and those in national and regional chains such as Walmart.
Many health care officials are worried that low-income residents will have to travel miles, especially in rural areas, to get prescriptions filled. Aetna customers also may have to depend more on smaller pharmacies that don’t have readily available stocks of certain prescription medication available.