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How Will CVS and Walgreens’ Beef Affect Your Prescription Health Insurance?

Image: pixeljones under CC 3.0

Cutthroat rivals in the drugstore industry, Walgreen’s and CVS are now locked in a feud that has the potential to affect where many people with employer-sponsored defined benefit health insurance plans.

CVS Caremark, which runs prescription drug programs for many large corporations, recently forbade its members from filling their prescriptions at Walgreen’s locations. In response, Walgreen has stopped accepting patients with CVS plans. In other words, a pharmacy can now be considered out-of-network, and you may have to pay full price for your medications.

Due to this rivalry, companies that offer group health insurance with prescription coverage might switch to one of the outsiders (Walgreen has its own plans, though they are little used): Medco and Express Scripts are among them. As a result, you may have to switch pharmacists.

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