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Monday, January 7, 2013

Un United Health Care

Dear Americans,

If you have ever been sick or know someone with a chronic illness, you are aware of the important role the local pharmacy plays in alleviating some of the stress. You know the relief of seeing someone and knowing who you are speaking with. The local pharmacists, often a member of the community, someone you see walking down the street and you both wave hello. They are the people who take the stressful edge off being ill, having to take medication and being afraid. Without these people, the strangeness we feel would be worse. We appreciate how they help make us feel safe.

Now, UnitedHealthcare is penalizing us for wanting to do business with oual pharmacies. They want us insured, to use a mailorder pharmacy or a large chain pharmacy like Walgrens. If we choose to have our prescriptions filled by our local pharmacy, which UnitedHealthcare has reclassified as nonpreferred pharmacy, we are charged more for our copay portion of the prescription.

I have been insured by AARP Medicare Rx Plans through UnitedHealthcare since 2006. Boring Rexall Drug and Cole Camp Pharmacy have been preferred pharmacies until 2013. They have now been moved to the nonpreferred pharmacy statis at UnitedHealthcare. I am also a senior with more than one chronic medical condition which causes me to need the services of the local pharmacy almost as often as the grocer.

That I have been told where to have my prescriptions filled or should I say, where It will cost me more to have my prescriotions filled if I choose not to use UnitedHealthcares preferred pharmacies causes extra tension and stress. If I see my physician and a prescription is written I must then drive more than forty miles one way to have the script filled or wait an additonal day or two to have it delivered.

Had I been able to see and read the notice of policy changes UnitedHealthcare sent last year, I would have changed my provider, cataracts and cataract surgery made that not possible. But that is not the point, there are millions of seniors doing business with UnitedHealthcare because they were referred by AARP, a group they trust. Now, AARP says they do not help UnitedHealthcare set policy but do strive to find value for their members.

I have heard that AARP owns the mailorder pharmacy that  UnitedHealthcare uses, but my email to AARP requesting verification has as yet been unanswered.

If UnitedHealthcare continues with this policy of listing my local pharmacies as nonpreferred pharmacies it will probably put the local pharmacy out of business. The chronically ill are among the poorest of seniors, an already financially strapped group, and we will be forced to  wait to have prescriptions filled by people we do not know and we will have to wait for the mail to be delivered to get the medication we need.

PLEASE, can you get involved in helping undo this error in judgement by UnitedHealthcare, the do not hear or do not care what we are saying.



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