CVS no longer part of Blue Cross preferred pharmacy network; change impacts 390,000 Alabamians

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ALABAMA ( — CVS is no longer part of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama's preferred pharmacy network.

Hundreds of thousands of Blue Cross and Blue Shield customers in Alabama who use CVS Pharmacy must find another place to fill prescriptions or face paying higher costs for their medications.

Starting Jan. 1, the preferred pharmacy network of Prime Therapeutics, the benefit manager owned by Blue Cross of Alabama and 13 other BC/BS groups, does not include CVS. The change means a portion of Blue Cross insurance customers who use CVS pharmacies may pay a higher co-pay amount - or even the entire cost of the prescription.

"This change was made to help offset the continuous rise in prescription drug costs and provide our customers the best medications for the best price," said Koko Mackin, Vice President for Corporate Communications and Community Relations for Blue Cross.

Blue Cross is the largest provider of healthcare benefits in Alabama, serving more than 3 million people. The change could leave many scrambling to transfer prescriptions, with most likely headed to Walgreens, smaller local pharmacies or providers at stores such as Walmart, Kroger or Publix.

Mackin said the change will impact 390,000 Alabamians - or about 13 percent - of Blue Cross customers in Alabama. The percentage may increase as employers renew coverage throughout the year and make benefit and network selections.

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