Rural Pharmacy Patients May Suffer From Insurance Transition
Jeff Sherr – Apple Discount Drugs
There seems to be a great deal of confusion concerning pharmacy benefits between existing United Healthcare commercial patients and the new United Healthcare Maryland Medicaid Program that is administered by the State of Maryland. If you have United Healthcare Commercial Insurance be assured that THIS DOES NOT AFFECT YOU AT ALL….at least as of now.
UHC Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) has sold a concept to the state to save money by creating a new UHC MCO but it is very shortsighted for the patients of the eastern shore with negative consequences to occur. In their haste, they neglected to assure practical access for these patients.
Sure, the COMAR regulations specify that 30 miles is the limit in distance for rural patients to travel from their residence to a pharmacy but that has never been an issue in the past since the independent pharmacies have positioned themselves to fill the void. Those who are disabled and depend on delivery as well as those without transportation will suffer. Drugs don’t work if you don’t take them and if you can’t get them, the results will be increased healthcare costs with hospitalizations as a reality. It obviously makes no sense to save on drug costs but in turn increase total healthcare expenditures with hospitalization. Beginning April 1st there will be over 300 pharmacies that will be left out of the new network which includes all independent pharmacies in the state.
If you think you have to wait for your prescription at chain pharmacies now, can you imagine what it will be like when nearly half of the pharmacies in the state of Maryland won’t be able to fill those UHC Medicaid prescriptions?
If you’re an existing UHC MCO patient, you can change to another state MCO by calling 800-977-7388, and choose Option #3.
Please remember that all of this change ONLY affects UHC Medicaid MCO participants and your voice can help prevent a catastrophe in your wellbeing. Please note: If you did not get a letter from United HealthCare, this change does not apply to you.