WCIF Benefits Blog: November 2022

Premera Blue Cross – Pharmacy Network Change Alert

In September, Kroger notified Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI) of its intent to end their pharmacy provider agreement effective January 1, 2023. ESI is an independent company providing online prescription and pharmacy services to Premera Blue Cro ss.

ESI is committed to offering affordable pharmacy access and is continuing to negotiate in good faith with Kroger to stay in network.  A Kroger termination with ESI impacts the following pharmacies under the Kroger umbrella*:

Bakers, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Food Co, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Gerbes, Harris Teeter, King Sooper, Kroger, Owens Market, Pay-Less Super Markets, QFC, Ralphs, and Smith’s Food and Drug

*Any added impact caused by Kroger’s plans to merge with Albertsons is unknown. The deal is not expected to close until early 2024, pending regulatory and anti-trust review.

As part of the standard termination process, Express Scripts will send notification letters to members who use Kroger pharmacies. The mailing will be sent 30 to 60 days in advance, sometime between November 2, 2022, and December 2, 2022. If Express Scripts can reach an agreement and avoid termination with Kroger, they will not issue updated member letters. If good faith negotiations are unsuccessful, Express Scripts, Inc. will provide 30 days’ notice to impacted members.

Premera members who have filled a prescription at a Kroger pharmacy in the last 90 days will also receive a letter from Premera with a list of three alternate pharmacies near their current Kroger pharmacy. These letters are scheduled to be sent on December 5, 2022. Premera members can also view other in-network pharmacy options via the Premera.com member portal.

What Members Need to Do

 To avoid any interruption in your treatment, transfer your prescription before December 31, 2022.

It’s easy to move your prescription. Here are 3 ways to make the switch:

  1. Take your prescription bottle to your new pharmacy and they’ll contact your current pharmacy to transfer your prescription.
  2. Call your new pharmacy and ask them to transfer your prescription.
  3. Ask your doctor to contact your new pharmacy with your prescription information

For questions relating to this pharmacy network change, please visit www.premera.com or contact Premera customer service at 877.500.9247.