Major drug store chain Walgreens is attempting to help Americans by picking up the slack from the incompetency of the Obamacare rollout. As White House officials continue their perpetual struggles with the rollout, many participants who signed up for the plan haven’t even received an identification number and are therefore fully responsible for the cost of their medications. Walgreens announced on Tuesday they will step in by providing a one-month supply of certain prescriptions at no upfront cost to Obamacare enrollees who have not yet received an ID number.
Walgreens said in a statement that customers who don’t have an ID numbers from an insurer can bring proof of their enrollment from now through the end of January to one of their pharmacies. After verifying their enrollment, pharmacy staff will cover a month of their medication at no upfront cost. Once the customer receives an ID number, the drug store chain will process the insurance claim and the customer may be responsible for co-pays at that time.
The one-month plan will not cover “complex therapy medications” and participants will receive generic versions of their current drugs. Walgreens spokeswoman Markeisha Marshall said the company believed it was important that customers did not have interruptions in their current medication plans and is currently working with the White House to address the Obamacare implementation issues.
The struggles with ID numbers are a particular problem because Obamacare enrollment has risen sharply in recent months. Roughly 2.1 million Americans enrolled in the plan this year, roughly 25% of which are 18-to-34 age group and less financially stable than their older counterparts. Tens of thousands of people have reported not receiving ID numbers yet and that number is likely far higher in actuality.
“If they do [succeed,] it’ll be pure, irrational dumb luck,” said Dan Holler of Heritage Action for America, which has helped lead efforts to “defund” ObamaCare. “The program they designed, and the incentives they put in place, look destined to fail.”