Pharmacy Seeks New TRICARE Customers

When the news came out last fall that a certain large chain of pharmacies would no longer accept TRICARE, military servicemembers, retirees and their families were understandably upset.

This week CVS Pharmacy launched an effort to attract those unhappy TRICARE customers. CVS has a webpage dedicated to letting military members know that they plan continue to accept TRICARE and that they welcome new TRICARE customers. The new CVS webpage offers new customers 3 quick ways to transfer their existing prescriptions.

In addition, CVS will donate $3 to the USO for each person who visits their CVS Pharmacy TRICARE Transfer/USO Donation webpage.

NOTE: The $3 per page view donation will continue through 31 January 2012!

Thanks to our friends at for sharing this information.

About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

    did wallgreens in oklahoma stop taking tricare for flu shots?. and also , prescriptions.

    • tdhowell

      Your best option is to ask your local pharmacy directly.

    • CharlesBryant


      Have you called them?

    • Terri

      As of 1/1/12 Walgreens no longer accepts TRICARE, you will have to go elsewhere for your prescriptions & shots.

    • Kath

      My Walgreens made it very clear to me most of the Fall that as a Tricare member, they would no longer be able to service my meds as of Jan. 1.

  • Brody

    way to go CVS

    • mavcpht

      Commending them for being another money-hungry corporation? They’re no different than any other major chain.

  • Elijah

    Distance from resourse to business determines what a business can offer in goods and services. CVS is making an effort for America, so help your health and help USO too.

  • Michael

    I have used CVS for many years with Tricare, I would not trust anyone else with my life. You will not be sorry if you switch.

  • Diana

    $400.00 for 2 vaccinations (Whooping cough and I forgot the other but they are required for working with the public) charged by Walgreens. My doctor does not have the facility to store vaccinations and Tricare will not pay for vaccinations given by drugstore Technicians.

    • CharlesBryant


      “Getting Vaccines at Retail Network Pharmacies

      Through the TRICARE Pharmacy Program’s expanded vaccine program, you may receive certain covered vaccines for zero copayment at participating network pharmacies. To find a pharmacy that participates in the vaccine program, click here or call 1-877-363-1303. Be sure to call the pharmacy first to see if there are any restrictions.”

  • K. Johnson

    How dare Tricare assume that everone can easily make such changes. And their publicity stance in all the letters during the Fall point so many fingers at Walgreens rather than acknowledging the conflict that led to Tricare not honestly negotiating their contract with Walgreens.

    • mgardner

      Tricare does not negotiate prices, they are fixed. Walgreeens was is too greedy. Keep in mind that the militrary, the same as Medicare does not negotiate prices.

      • mavcpht

        I’ve in pharmacy for 18 years & you’re incorrect.

        • mavcpht

          Correction: I’ve worked in pharmacy for 18 years & you’re incorrect.

  • Randy Kilnowitz

    Why are all these pharmacys droping Tri-care?

    • mavcpht

      Because their reimbursement rates are horrible!!

  • Mary

    I have no problems with CVS. Their drive through is better then Walgreens.

  • guest

    I am located where I have lots of military facilities nearby so have not used a civilian pharmacy except in an emergency out of area. My choice was made for me the first time that happened, as CVS was less than a mile away. They were wonderful, did all whatever needed to be done, and I paid nothing.
    Have had a few more such experiences, and each and every CVS I have patronized has been great. I would never bother with Walgreens, based on experience.

    • lew Sexton

      I ioo% agree with you. Left walgreens years ago because tired of standing at counter and pharmacy clerk answer phone and take my time talking to a call in rather than put them on hold. Have never regretted it. Went to OSCO which was acquired by CVS and both didi an excellent job. Now use express scripts which is the best ever. No charge for generics, and $3,00 for 30 day supply of name brand. Auto refill is excellent. With your one time permission they will contact your doctor to renew your prescriptions you take on recurring basis, Cant beat them and all can be done online or telephone. Walgreens can never touch them.

  • hotdog

    nothing but problems once tricare left walgreens, cvs is not as reliable, etc

  • George

    Walgreens has always been exceptional and am sorry to seen them go. I switched to Publix supermarket (per recommendation of Express Scripts) for convenience and have had nothing but problems ( when you REFILL at another store, they consider it a TRANSFER and won’t honor future REFILLS at the original store 200 miles apart). Thanks Express Scripts for making my life more difficult.

    • Yvonne

      Cvs got fined 135,000,000 for Over billing Medicare&certain prescriptions last yr.they are not great at all,in 2001 they got caught shorting people on refills too.Walgreens was charging me twice what Walmart charged for same prescriptions,So all of you who thinkCVS&Walgreens r looking out for u,It’s BS! thy will give 3$to USO fr 1 Yr&thts on all ur scripts which count as 1 donation,after tht yr it’s back to business as usual&the fleecing will begin again.I got script at both&CVS was the worst,Walgreens double billed&pharmacist told me it was Tricare who dropped them not the other way around.

  • JACK

    I would like to know what or who caused the Walgreen group to leave
    the program ??/ and or quit supporting the troops in general ??

  • jsub1960

    Use mail delivery, it’s free and a lot cheaper for the meds…

  • William A Ray Sr.

    CVS Rules in their service to Military Active and Retired
    WAR Sr.

  • Ed Lynch

    I have always used walgreens as a primary student through high school. when I joined the Air Force I used the Base Pharmacy. After I retired I continued using Walgreens and The Base Pharmacy. Now I use Fry’s Pharmacy, Express Scrips and the Nearest Base Pharmacy. My doctors always send my prescriptions by internet to the Pharmacy I choose. This is especially helpful when traveling by RV.

  • Linda

    Very disappointed that we no longer can use WalGreens. We’ve been using WalGreens for our youngest daughter. She has several medical issues and is on so many different medications. WalGreens always took care of us. They are family! We NEVER had an issue. We switched to WalMart. They dont have alot of her medications on hand, they are not open 24 hrs. My husband refused to switch to CVS but we had to use this this weekend. 1st, they told us it wasn’t commercially available. 2nd they didn’t know how to mix it. They called 3 different people. She had just been on this medication in December, when we had it filled at WalGreens. 3rd -thier systems were down, so they couldn’t give it to us at that time. We had to go back at 6 the next morning. WalGreens would’ve given it to us and then ran it when the computers were up and running.
    At WalMart, they dont have alot of our daughters medication on hand. It’s just a big hassle.
    Our life is already chaotic with doctors appointments, unexpected trips to the ER, hospital admissions. We really did not need this!

  • Sylvia

    Why was my comment deleted by the administator? Lolz

  • DeeDee

    Articles I read stated that Express Scripts denied Walgreen’s offer of even a lowered rate from this year’s rates. Probably someone in the food chain got irked with Walgreen and decided to dump them so they wouldn’t accept any offer that was given. I don’t think they should have squawked at having to pay less this year than last, but Express Scripts apparently did. Ticks me off. I miss my Walgreen pharmacist!

  • gregorydownsmd

    I am a retired military physician. When told about the change in policy I was hesitant to use express script by mail, and I know from experience that CVS is poorly managed (at least here). My hesitancy was confirmed when I coincidently needed a new prescription from my personal physician. I spoke with Express scripts. It was quoted at multiple levels that it take almost a month (intake + processing) to recieve. Good thing my health doesn’t depend on this! Walgreens should be put back on the list of providers.

    • Franklin Weaver

      Agreed, we want Walgrens back Express Scripts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ced

    very happy with service from express scrips. 800 no. is prompt, answered with english speaking techs, and very helpful. New scrips arrive in 3-4 days from calling in, and they will fax the dr. for refills. The generics are free (that can’t last, but that’s what the policy is now) although I wouldn’t mind paying a small fee to make this more sustainable. Great service overall. CVS is busy at retail stores around here, but generally excellent. CED

    • Jackie

      Not happy with Express Scripts. Called in a refill for a prescription of brand name Aricept, my husband has dementia. When the refill came it was accompanied by a letter informing us that Aricept now has a generic . substitution & that our plan requires that if a generic is available it must be used. My beef is that we were not notified by Express Scripts when the generic became available & before the script came up for refill so we could have asked our doctor for a script with brand name only no substitution written on it. When there is an existing brand name prescription on file with refills still on file, it should not be refilled with a generic. Patients should be informed by Express Scripts & any pharmacy when a generic becomes available well in advance of any refill requests. & then when the new script is written the substitution issue should be addressed on the new script.

  • B Smith

    I use express-scripts for all of my meds that I use daily. If I get a new prescription from the DR. I use Walgreens as I can get it that day or 2nd day at minimum. Express scripts would take at least two weeks unless I paid four times the cost of meds for shipping. I have a choice of four other pharmacies in town. I chose the one that has a drive thru as it is much easier than trying to find parking and walking quite a distance. Walmart is out as I never shop there and the pharmacy is at the back of the store. Also when I previously had to change pharmacies Wallworld did not have the better pricing. Walgreens should be brought back into the loop.

    • JoleneAL

      B Smith – glad this is working for you, but I have two “as written” scripts that Tricare keeps trying to force generics on me with. One medication has no equal or generic – yet they keep trying to make me take another completely different product. This is because their “book” says it is equal. They refuse to listen to my doctor. Walgreens always forced the issue with Tricare and I got my medication. The other one they try to change is my High Blood Pressure medication. They completely ignore that fact this is my 8th one. We went through 7 others that I became allergic too, yet Tricare continues to try and force one of those 7 on me at each refill.

      As long as Tricare continues to try and be my doctor instead of the one I go through, I will NEVER let them mail me my scripts.

  • Daniel

    We have always used CVS and have had no problems. They fax the doctors for refills if needed.

  • Archie Bourbon

    I’m very upset with losing Walgreens from my Tricare pharmacy list. My Walgreens has a drive-in. The pharmacy department has saved me several dollars on my prescriptions by running my script thru both pharmacy cards and does it automatically.
    I have gone to CVS and have not experienced satisfaction:
    1. I have to drive 20 miles to get to CVS vs 5 miles for Walgreens;
    2. CVS has NO drive-thru;
    3. CVS did not fill my first order I submitted on line, it was lost!
    4. A renewal for my wife’s prescription could not be filled without my doctor’s approval, he did approve the prescription for a Name brand product which CVS refused to fill. They wanted to substitute a generic for the name brand which required my physician’s nurse to call me to see if we would accept a generic I explained we do not get generics for this product and she had to call CVS to REQUEST THE name brand only, no substitution permitted. I then received a call from CVS on my answering machine which stated they did not have the name brand product on hand and asked if we still wanted the prescription filled by the name brand product which will take an additional day. its been one week now and we still have not received the name brand prodyct. BRING BACK WALGREENS!!!

    • JoleneAL

      We are running into that problem too. We are taking our “as written” scripts back to Walgreens and paying out of pocket for them.

      We no longer trust CVS not to screw it up.

  • Rusty

    Let’s unite and push for complete openness about issues between Express Scripts and Walgreen’s . it sdoesn;t make sense that Walgreen would give up that income over small isuues….we may be prisoners of the system, but mybe we can effect change through unity of complaint about poor service elsewhere

    • Bud

      I have been in touch with my congressman but did not get a straight answer… I also continue to complain about the terrible service provided by Express Scripts. I got a phone call from the congressman’s office on this one but that was as far as it went.
      I for one will continue to complain!!!!!

  • Mary Joe

    My Walgreen’s store told me that Walgreens was trying to work with Express Scrips. Not to give up hope. We had to go with Walmart as we travel a lot. It has been a mess. I got a three month supply at Walgreens so I wouldn’t have to mess with the change. My husband had to go back to Walmart 3 times for them to get all his. He is sitting with his right now packing for a trip. Generic has been substituted for his original. That might have been OK but he was not told. Give me Walgreens back.

  • Sandi

    I have anywhere from 7 to 12 Scripts a month and several are through Tricare for at least 20 years now and I went through Save-on for years with no problems and when they sold all their single standing pharmacies to CVS I have had nothing but problems every month. The first time I tried Walgrens was the last time I used them as I had more problems. I went back to CVS but that was a mistake too. Since Savon-on has pharmacies in grocery stores and also have drive-thru I think that is my best choice. As far as generic scripts Tricare requires generics when available.
    If the patient requires the non-generic script they are only allowed the $ amount that Tricare would normally pays and the patient is must pay the difference. This has been my experience with Tricare and non-generic Scripts.

  • WBCope

    I am pleased with Espress Scripts and when I had to have a prescription refilled I went to the nearest Target Pharmacy. WOW!! What a great experience. They called Walgreens and had them fax over my prescription and filled it for me the next day. Also set me up for automatic refill on a monthly basis. There are quite a few places locally where I could have gone but Target was the closest. I’m not associated with Espress Scripts nor Target….just a satisfied customer of both. By the way, I’ve never, ever had issues with CVS either, but there isn’t one local.

  • Johnaf69

    Rite Aid pharmacies in the Puget Sound area of Washington State now take Express Scripts prescriptions

    • hisdivineangel7777

      Yes. That’s Where I Go. So Far So Good.

  • Gregory Gaunt

    What a bunch of crap! I live 25 miles from base but just 2 miles from Walgreen’s. Is someone working against us to force us to pay more in gas? Christ! I knew it!!! That freakin’ CinC of ours. Enough is enough.

  • EPorter

    itseems that we just lost our tri car for life. we are being forced to use other than walgreens. Idont know how a contractor can refuse to pay a certain company. I thhink we all to wrie our congress to get rid of express scrips. They have caused me problem sisce the start

  • LTM

    Walgreens, in my opinion, is BY FAR the most self-serving chain pharmacy in America. I worked for the company for 3 years and know factually that both sides walked away from the table with cavalier attitudes and not wanting to budge. The reason Wag is okay with the loss of all ESI/TriCare members is due to the formation of Obamacare. Corporate Wag believes all the uninsured will flock to their stores in 2014, barring a repeal. Unlike most stores, Walgreens does not have a generic program and attaches a dispensing fee to all medications making even the cheapest drugs at least $11.99. From personal experience, one could find a Walgreens with an excellent staff and feel positively about the company, but more money and hassle could be saved by looking beyond this corporation.

  • jakeb

    walgreens does not want the militarty to fill our express scripts RX at their store. this shows how much respect they have for active duty, retired, and dependents wellbeing. I for one will never use their company again.

    • daveP

      I know that Walgreens tried to work out a contract that would at least allow Tricare customers to still have a choice. ESI redfused.

  • JoleneAL

    We moved all our scripts that had refills in January to CVS from Walgreens.

    Since then we have had the worst customer service possible. I mean WalMart isn’t as bad as we’ve experienced.

    The medications are either, 1) not in stock or 2) the company doesn’t make it anymore. Yet we can go across the street to the Walgreens we were at and wow – they have stock and yes, the company is still making it.

    This week we had to pay out of pocket for my husband’s HBP meds because CVS didn’t have any and claimed again the company stopped making it.

    They have always told me my thryiod medication is no longer made – and have been trying to tell me that for 10+ years now, yet Walgreens seems to always have it.

    I don’t know who walked away from who during negotiations, but all I can tell you is I want this bad of treatement from a pharmacy, I will go back on post.

  • Pam

    Screw Walgreens. I got shity service there anyway. I started going to a mom and pop type place called MEDICAP!!!!. The pharmacist memorized my name in just a couple visits. He is very personable, efficient, and always has my medicine in stock, unlike other pharmacies. This has been the most pleasant change I’ve ever made. Walgreens staff treats you like a number and a bother. I’m happy they aren’t getting my business anymore!

  • R.D.

    There may be a lot about this topic that I don’t understand — I’m just a retired LTC. But I always got good service and respect from my Walgreens store and their staff. What is wrong with the people at Express Scripts?? Unfortunately, I decided to transfer my many prescriptions to the closest Walmart. This has been the worst experience I have had since I retired! They screwed up the initial fulfillment of my medications. They are not open 24 hours a day like Walgreens, and the wait at the counter is intolerable. The staff is not as educated or proficient. The procedures they use are antiquated. Even the d— pill bottles are different and very hard to get open for someone who may have lost strength in their hands. The whole experience has been frustrating. I am now faced with the stressful task of shifting all of my prescriptions to another pharmacy. Why do I feel like the retirees have been deserted by the very system which is supposed to be serving them? Maybe it is time to get rid of Express Scripts. Does anyone have a better suggestion?

  • wkirvin

    I loved Walgreens pharmacy. They saved me money, time and were efficiently functional. Now, I had to switch pharmacies. How inconvenient. So I get a new prescription and CVS gives me a 90 day supply instead of 30 days. What if the prescription doesn’t work. Now i’m stuck with 60+ days of pills and I can’t return them,let alone get my money back. CVS really does this to get our money. does anyone know anywhere else in the arlington texas area i can ges my scripts. thanks

  • Mike Pedersen

    How much stabbing in the back and falling on our saber is required to satisfy the corporate greed? Get these private pharmacies and express scripts the hell out of the system and send my prescriptions from a military pharmacy. The drug companies need to be paying an incentive fee to military members for serving us, not sucking up a co-pay. Let them follow the rules and provide better service or go broke when all federal business is withheld.

  • Mona Vega

    I use Rite aid because walgreens doesn’t accept tri care, however my doctor sometimes has to either fax or e-script the prescription 3 or 4 times before they fill it. They will say they haven’t received anything. It’s very frustrating.