Oscar taps CVS as preferred pharmacy in New York, gives Walgreens the cold shoulder

Oscar Health subway campaign
CVS is Oscar Health's preferred pharmacy for its New York plans. (Oscar Health)

Oscar Health has tapped CVS as its preferred pharmacy for the 2020 plan year for its New York plans, cutting out Walgreens and some Rite Aid and Duane Reade locations. 

Members in Oscar plans—aside from its Small Group Circle Plus coverage—will also have access to Capsule, a pharmacy startup it partnered with in December. Capsule offers free same-day delivery to New Yorkers. Independent pharmacies will also be in-network.

A platform like Capsule’s aligns strongly with Oscar’s own tech-enabled approach, CEO Mario Schlosser said last month. 

“We know that filling, waiting and picking up prescriptions can be one of the most painful parts of the healthcare experience,” Schlosser said. 

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For Oscar members seeking prescriptions at out-of-network pharmacies, they will not be able to access in-network pricing or count those drug purchases toward their deductible.  

Its tech-enabled approach has powered Oscar to significant growth over the past several years. Oscar now offers Affordable Care Act plans in 15 states and 26 markets, marking the third year in a row that the insurer has grown its exchange footprint. 

Oscar also launched its first Medicare Advantage plans this year for the New York and Houston markets. These plans for seniors will offer the same tech tools, such as Oscar’s concierge offerings.