Tricare and Tricare for Life Pharmacy Change: CVS to Walgreens

tricare1200x800-ts600A change that goes into effect Thursday effectively removes all CVS locations from the Tricare retail pharmacy network and adds Walgreens to the system.

This change of vendors was a result of contract updates with Tricare’s pharmacy provider Express Scripts and will reduce the number of pharmacy sites to around 58,000 retail pharmacies nationwide. CVS locations and those in Target stores are affected and about 8,000 Walgreen pharmacies will be added.  This affects all Tricare users, including those in the Tricare for Life program.

May beneficiaries still fill prescriptions with CVS after the change, officials said, but will have to pay up front for their drugs since the retailer will no longer be in the Tricare network. Fifty percent of that cost can then be refunded for Tricare Prime users through a reimbursement request made by the beneficiary to Express Scripts, per Tricare policy, officials said.

“If they decide to switch to another network pharmacy, they can take the prescription or prescription bottle for a refill to the new network pharmacy,” said Kevin Dwyer, a Tricare spokesman. “The pharmacist there will contact the beneficiary’s old pharmacy and transfer the prescription.”

Users may also call their new pharmacy and ask it to transfer the prescription from CVS, Dwyer said.

Minute Clinics, located inside CVS retail locations, still will be part of the Tricare urgent care network, officials said.