Tennessee Representatives Join Letter Demanding Answers from Pentagon over Veterans’ Lack of Access to TRICARE Pharmacies

Tennessee Representatives Mark Green (R-TN-07), David Kustoff (R-TN-08), and Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01) joined 25 of their colleagues on Wednesday in sending a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin “regarding the impact of the Department of Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) decision to proceed with Cigna/Express Script’s reduced reimbursement plan.”

Cigna/Express Scripts is the Department of Defense’s TRICARE pharmacy contractor.

TRICARE is the healthcare program for uniformed service members, retirees, and their families around the world. The program is managed by the DHA.

Cigna/Express Scripts (ESI) has negotiated new pharmacy contracts, removing the option for many TRICARE beneficiaries to utilize the pharmacy of their choice on Monday of this week. According to TRICARE’s website, about 15,000 independent pharmacies no longer are in the TRICARE retail pharmacy network due to the new contract.

The letter signed by the more than two dozen U.S. Representatives states that the DHA’s new contract “impacts approximately 4% of the TRICARE-eligible population, nearly 400,000 beneficiaries.”

While the DHA reports that, with the change, “over 90% of beneficiaries will have at least one network pharmacy within 15 minutes of their home,” Congressman Green states that some TRICARE beneficiaries in Wayne County, Tennessee, are “forced to travel upwards of sixty miles” to obtain their prescriptions and alternative pharmacies.

“This decision directly impacts veterans from coast to coast, but it hurts rural Tennesseans especially hard,” Congressman Green said in a statement. “My constituents in Wayne County are now forced to travel upwards of 60 miles—often across state lines—to access their prescriptions at other pharmacies. This is detrimental to elderly veterans and those who do not have access to transportation. This matter deserves urgency from the Pentagon—our veterans cannot wait.”

– – –

Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.

Related posts

One Thought to “Tennessee Representatives Join Letter Demanding Answers from Pentagon over Veterans’ Lack of Access to TRICARE Pharmacies”

  1. 83ragtop50

    The independent pharmacies must not provide enough political contributions to make the cut. Leave it to the government to screw the small business owners.