Aetna drops Walgreens from its Illinois Medicaid plan

As of December one, Aetna dropped CVS competitor Walgreens from its Illinois Medicaid prepare.  Aetna’s

As of December one, Aetna dropped CVS competitor Walgreens from its Illinois Medicaid prepare. 

Aetna’s final decision to exclude the Walgreens chain from its Aetna Better Overall health of Illinois pharmacy network influences about 400,000 residents in the point out, according to the Chicago Tribune. Several in this population are very poor, unemployed and disproportionately struggling from COVID-19.

Almost 2,000 pharmacies participate in Aetna’s Better Overall health of Illinois network, Aetna Medicaid explained by statement, which includes other national pharmacy chains these as Walmart, regional chains these as Osco and many unbiased pharmacies. 

In Chicago, there are 271 in-network pharmacies with an average distance to these places of 50 percent a mile, Aetna explained. 

“The removing of 1 pharmacy chain from the network previously this thirty day period has not developed or contributed to network accessibility troubles and we fulfill or exceed all of the state’s accessibility necessities for managed care organizations,” Aetna explained. “In truth, the Illinois Office of Healthcare and Spouse and children Companies has reviewed our up-to-date network and determined it encourages fairness.”

Aetna explained it has worked with its pharmacy partners to give and extend coverage of ninety-working day prescriptions via mail order, give totally free shipping to members across the point out and empower pharmacists to allow early medicine refills where by situationally acceptable.


In November 2018, the $sixty nine billion merger for CVS Overall health to obtain Aetna closed.

Aetna has given no purpose for its final decision to exclude Walgreens, leaving critics to fill in the blank that eliminating a huge competitor from its network is the motivating issue.

In 2019, CVS Overall health topped a Becker’s Medical center Critique list of the nation’s biggest pharmacies, which have been rated by overall prescription earnings. CVS was adopted by Walgreens, CignaExpress Scripts, UnitedHealth Group’s OptumRx and Walmart. 

THE Larger Pattern

In 2018, the Tribune claimed that pharmacy accessibility was a expanding concern in Chicago. Some general public overall health professionals explained that more than a dozen low-cash flow neighborhoods, mostly on the South and West sides of Chicago, have been getting to be pharmacy deserts.

Vendors have significantly been addressing the social determinants of overall health for clients as it has develop into obvious that SDOH troubles these as foodstuff and housing insecurity, transportation and isolation have as a great deal affect on overall health as medical considerations. 

RWJBarnabas Overall health a short while ago launched the social determinants of overall health software, Overall health Outside of the Medical center, in collaboration with NowPow and ConsejoSano, to refer and join clients to group-dependent expert services.  

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
E mail the author: [email protected]