Aetna: "Don't worry, Walmart is still an in-network pharmacy for 2019 MAPD and PDP products"
CVS Health recently announced that Walmart has opted to leave its pharmacy network for Commercial and Medicaid plans. As stated in the press release, this has no impact on Medicare plans. Please let your clients know:
If members have any questions, they can call Member Services using the number on their member ID card.
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Walmart to Leave CVS Network, Roiling Drugstores
Robert Langreth and Matthew Boyle / Bloomberg News / Employee Benefit Adviser
“This issue underscores the problems that can arise when a PBM can exert their unregulated power to direct members on where to fill their scripts, disrupting patients’ healthcare,” the statement said. “Walmart is standing up to CVS’s behaviors that are putting pressure on pharmacies and disrupting patient care.”
“Walmart’s requested rates would ultimately result in higher costs for our clients and consumers,” CVS Caremark President Derica Rice said in the statement. “We simply could not agree to their recent demands for an increase in reimbursement.”
CVS isn’t only one of the U.S.’s biggest pharmacy chains, with almost 10,000 locations. It also oversees drug benefits for about 93 million people, including setting up networks of drugstores where they can pick up their prescriptions.
Walmart is a major pharmacy operator as well, and dispenses drugs in most of its almost 5,000 locations. It has also flirted with getting more involved in the healthcare industry, looking at offering wellness services and other offerings that will become a key part of CVS’s business with its takeover of health insurer Aetna last year.
The split won’t affect Medicare beneficiaries in CVS’s Part D drug plans. It also won’t apply to Walmart’s Sam’s Club stores, CVS said in the statement.
CVS said the move won’t materially impact its 2019 results. News of the split was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.