One of the best of retired military benefits is prescription coverage through “Express-Scripts”.
Express-Scripts will either mail you your prescriptions or reimburse “In-network” pharmacies for filling your prescription locally.
The Kroger family of retail stores announced this week that they no longer want the business of military retirees and as of the first of the year we are no longer welcome.
They offer no explanation for this decision and our local store and the national Kroger Help Desk have no idea what is going on, or why.
Kroger owns Walgreen’s and Walgreen’s continues “In-network”, so apparently it makes sense for the Walgreen’s business model.
After 40 years of doing our weekly grocery shopping and getting almost all our prescriptions locally, we now have to change our methods.
On the plus side, Publix has a store nearby and they are staying in the Express-Scripts network.
Goodbye Kroger and Hello Publix.
If anyone else has any information on this, I would sure love to hear about it.
That was NOT a decision from Kroger.
This is the result of a DoD decision to limit Express Script approved pharmacies to only a few large national chains. Not only was Kroger dropped from the program, but every local pharmacy in the country was dropped. Two excellent and valued local pharmacies only a few miles from me suffered the same short-notice change.
Write your Senators and you Representative and complain about this move by DoD.
The Defense Health Agency and TriCare Management caused this change.
Right on the heels of the COVID Lockdowns which forced thousands of small businesses nationwide, especially restaurants, to close permanently, this move by DoD is now a direct attack on small local pharmacies. Washington is apparently set on destroying small local businesses of all kinds. This must be fought!
You do not have your facts correct.
As I stated, Publix, Walgreen (and CVS, Target, etc) are still In-Network.
This was absolutely a Kroger decision and if YOU go to your local Kroger (as I did), they will give you a small handout with the same information I posted above.
From the Kroger website.
Note this is from 30 September, but they only started telling their customers in store this week.
“CINCINNATI, Sept. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ – Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), yesterday provided Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI), written notice of its intention to terminate their pharmacy provider agreement for commercial customers. Since February, Kroger has attempted on dozens of occasions to negotiate in good faith with ESI – seeking a more equitable and fair contract that lowers cost, increases access, and delivers greater transparency – but there has been little to no progress to date.”
Thank you for the correction. This is indeed a bad move by Kroger. My information came from the two local pharmacies that had been affected, who told me that only national chain pharmacies are in the new system from TriCare.
As such, my exhortation remains to write Congress!
In a semi-related topic, Walmart Pharmacy no longer accepts Tricare insurance. I have no idea why, but a Walmart pharmacist told me that they had been dropped from the program.
It caused me some inconvenience and now I have only one local pharmacy to choose from. Many times my primary pharmacy would be out of a certian prescription. I would almost always be able to get it at Walmart. It sucks to loose that, as I live in a rural area.
Glad i am not taking prescriptions at all,I am on all naturals and at 75 never felt better since all naturals,I take A,B,C,D3 and Zinc and use hemp oin and Hemp creme and was wearing double knee braces to walk and go up stairs one step at a time with Pain and started taking Hemp oil oral and hemp creme as a rub on and with in a month no pain and could walk normally and up stairs with no Pain,it did and does work for me,Hemp oil is natures morphene
Starting 2023, prescriptions may not be covered by your plan if filled at a Kroger Pharmacy or Kroger Family of Companies (which includes but is not limited to Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Smith’s Food and Drug, Fry’s Food and Drug, King Soopers). If you fill or continue to fill prescriptions at a Kroger Family of Companies pharmacy, your prescription coverage may be rejected and you may pay a higher cost for your medication.
Thanks for the explanation. Our local pharmacy recently dropped our TRICARE pharmacy coverage, forcing us to move to Publix. I initially blamed the pharmacy, but it makes more sense that it was a Federal Government decision.
As a military retiree who depends on TRICARE and the VA for medical care, this deepens my concern that military medical benefits will eventually get absorbed into some sort of universal (socialist) federal healthcare plan.
Until Oct. 24, there were roughly 55,586 retail pharmacies in the Tricare network but, as of that date, 14,963 dropped out… …many of the community pharmacies never even received the proposed contract for the 2023 retail network… These pharmacies therefore had no opportunity to remain in the network. Express Scripts terminated contracts early for the pharmacies participating in the 2022 network — Oct. 24. While Tricare beneficiaries received letters about the change, many pharmacies learned about the change only from their patients.
Cigna/Express Scripts offered contract terms to these independent pharmacies that were far below medication acquisition costs, forcing most independent community pharmacies to make the difficult choice to reject the terms, with no opportunity to renegotiate,” wrote B. Douglas Hoey, CEO of the pharmacists association, in a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin… “Since February, Kroger has attempted on dozens of occasions to negotiate in good faith with [Express Scripts Inc.], seeking a more equitable and fair contract that lowers cost, increases access, and delivers greater transparency — but there has been little to no progress to date,” officials said in a statement announcing the termination of their agreement.