Many military families who use independent or community pharmacies soon will have to find an alternative source for their prescription medication needs.
Approximately 15,000 community pharmacies will leave the Tricare retail pharmacy network on Oct. 24. Nearly 400,000 beneficiaries, or roughly 4% of the Tricare-eligible population, will be affected by the change.
In 2021, there were more than 56,000 pharmacy locations in the TRICARE retail pharmacy network, including national chains, grocery chains and independent pharmacies.
Impacted beneficiaries will receive a letter from Express Scripts with a list of alternative in-network pharmacies. Walgreens and CVS remain in-network, as do many grocery store pharmacies and smaller chains. Network pharmacies also can be found using this online search tool.
After Oct. 24, beneficiaries who continue to fill prescriptions at departing community pharmacies will pay the full retail price for the medication.
To transfer a prescription, beneficiaries can:
- Take their prescription bottles to another participating pharmacy in the network. The pharmacist there will contact the previous pharmacy and transfer the prescription.
- Call the new pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to obtain the prescription information from the old pharmacy.
- Ask their doctor to send the prescription information to the new pharmacy.
- Visit the Express Scripts website to switch eligible medications to home delivery.
Even with the departure of community pharmacies, Express Scripts reports the Tricare retail network will continue to meet or exceed Tricare’s pharmacy access standard of at least one pharmacy within a 15-minute drive of 90% of beneficiaries.