Aetna Better Health of Illinois excluded Walgreens from its pharmacy network Dec. 1, a change that affected roughly 400,000 Medicaid members in Illinois, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Aetna said the change was reviewed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and determined to be equitable. However, lawmakers and physicians argue the exclusion hits poor and majority-Black neighborhoods that have increasingly few choices for pharmacies.
In a written statement to the Chicago Tribune, Aetna said it has almost 2,000 pharmacies in Illinois that are considered in-network for Medicaid members, including Walmart, Jewel-Osco and independent pharmacies.
"The removal of one pharmacy chain from the network earlier this month has not created or contributed to network access issues and we meet or exceed all of the state's access requirements for managed care organizations," Aetna told the newspaper.
Read more here.