Aetna Mistake Could Complicate Some Part D Drug Refills

(Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

Some seniors who enrolled in Medicare Part D plans with Aetna or its subsidiary Coventry Health Care could be in for a surprise when they try to fill their prescriptions this year.

During the most-recent enrollment period, Aetna identified some pharmacies as network members on the Medicare Plan Finder website that actually are not, and as a result, some people couldn’t fill prescriptions at their usual pharmacy, the National Community Pharmacists Association said Thursday.

Consumers who get their prescriptions subsidized through Medicare Part D, the government’s prescription-drug benefit program for seniors, and selected an Aetna or Coventry plan might be eligible to choose a new plan through a special enrollment period, the group said, but this was not immediately confirmed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Aetna said that most pharmacies were not affected by the mishap and that “an earlier issue with Medicare Plan Finder was fixed in December.”

The issue arose when some pharmacies were listed as participating in Aetna’s retail networks, when actually they are network members only for long-term or home care, the company said.

“We are watching for any prescriptions that may have been filled at the pharmacies that were erroneously listed, and proactively reaching out to those members to make them whole for the cost of the prescription,” Aetna said in a statement. “We are also helping them find a network pharmacy that is convenient for them going forward.”

Aetna said customers with questions can call the number on the back of their ID cards.