This year, the UC Student Health Insurance Plan will no longer cover Walgreens prescriptions due to the company’s failure to reconcile negotiations with Anthem Blue Cross.
Students covered under UC SHIP can no longer receive network benefits — such as subsidized prescription costs — at Walgreens and other pharmacies under its leadership, including OptionCare, Duane Reade and Happy Harry’s. Walgreens and Anthem Blue Cross are currently discussing plans for a new contract, though UC health insurance still covers major pharmacy chains like CVS, Rite Aid, Kroger, Target and Walmart.
The UCSB Student Health pharmacy also accepts transferred prescriptions and offers mail-order service, allowing students to receive much-needed prescriptions without leaving the house.
However, on-campus pharmacies may not carry the same prescription drugs as stores like Walgreens or CVS, according to Anthony Ellington, a pharmacy technician at UC Berkeley’s Tang Center.
“We don’t necessarily carry all the same drugs that a Walgreens pharmacy might,” Ellington said. “[For example], we don’t carry any controlled substances higher than a Percocet.”
Fourth-year Spanish major Lourdes Hernandez, who previously filled prescriptions at Walgreens, said the change came as a surprise but was easily resolved.
“I wouldn’t really say that the Walgreens contract termination actually affected me,” Hernandez said. “All I had to do was transfer my prescription to CVS, which was more convenient anyway.”
In the Santa Barbara area, CVS pharmacies outnumber Walgreens stores with a ratio of 4:1.
For more information regarding the transfer of SHIP-covered prescriptions, contact UCSB Student Health at (805) 893-2116. To find a new network provider contracted with Anthem, visit ucop.edu/ucship.
Reply from UCSB Student Health: We were glad to see information about UC SHIP in the Nexus, but wished your author would have contacted us for a more local comment rather than speak to someone at UC Berkeley. We actually strive to fill ALL student prescriptions, and have recently greatly expanded the medications that we regularly stock here for the convenience of students. We’re sorry that Anthem/Blue Cross and Walgreen’s were unable to come to a contractural agreement, but hope that will not be a great impact on our students. Student Health would be happy to provide more information to… Read more »
Thats really a bad news for UC students…its quite a huge change..
Bed new for us!!
This is ridiculous, Walgreens is the largest RX chain out there. They should of made sure this never got this far.
Thought I’m answering late, I agree with Kim and Mark .. it’s just plain insane, that’s it!
Great news for anyone concerned about Walgreen’s dispute with Anthem/Blue Cross: they HAVE now reached an agreement and UC SHIP members can resume using them on 9/15/12: Walgreens to re-enter pharmacy network Express Scripts (“ESI”) and Walgreens have reached an agreement for Walgreens to participate in the retail pharmacy network that can be used by our members beginning September 15, 2012. What does this mean to our members? Effective September 15, 2012, new and existing members, including those enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid plans, will have Walgreens as one of their in-network pharmacies to choose from. Other Walgreens-owned pharmacies, such… Read more »