So a health insurance plan with a four letter name is actively mistreating us. They have a commercial plan that individuals and small businesses have been purchasing through the health exchanges that is making a dramatic change to their pharmacy network. They are removing independent pharmacies, like us, from their network and they have sent letters to the various people in those plans telling customers to transfer to a different pharmacy. It is worth pointing out that if you did not receive a letter, you are probably not affected.
To add insult to injury, they have trademarked their limited pharmacy plan the UPMC Essential Pharmacy Plan. Meanwhile, we have been using the marketing tag line, your Essential Pharmacy, in our weekly emails, on our website, our prescription bags, etc. Considering that we are in their neighborhood and they chose to do that is more than a little insulting. They registered their trademark over half a year after we were already actively using that slogan.
When UPMC Health Plan is questioned on their decision to cut us out of their inappropriately named network, they tried passing the buck to their PBM called Express Scripts. However, Express Scripts only executes the plan as UPMC tells them to. It does seem a shame that a local corporation is cutting out local small businesses and intentionally breaking up relationships between their clients and pharmacists and pharmacy technicians that have been providing direct care to these people for years.
Now for a call to action! Some people have already chosen to change plans to prevent them from being forced to leave us. One family that wasn’t impacted by their particular plan changed their health insurance simply on principle. If you are a business that was blindsided by this plan change, see what your options are. One independent pharmacy that I know had this particular plan for their own employees. When their employees received letters informing them that they could no longer use the pharmacy that was paying for the plan, that pharmacy did change plans. If you are an individual affected by this and not in a position to change plans and are being forced to switch pharmacies you should call the Pennsylvania Attorney General at 877-888-4877. Also, check with us on the pricing difference between your insurance and our prices remembering that you will still be eligible for our Essential Pharmacy program. One patient on nearly 20 medications had us compare prices and we would save her approximately $86/year on her medications. Another customer that came in with her letter telling her to leave us saved just over $75 by paying our price instead of her insurance copay
We should probably move forward with the rest of our weekly email. We just enjoyed a fantastic Small Business Saturday with wassail, the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, and various specials. As you can see in the picture above, our puppy was enjoying helping to set-up the Christmas tree. Our puppy, named Xanax, is a therapy dog in training and just passed her third semester of classes. A lot of our customers have taken to jokingly referring to her as our CEO. This reminds me of a story.
A maltese-beagle named Xanax walks into a bank. She sits at the desk of the loan officer, a Ms. Patty Black. Xanax asks if she’s eligible for a small business loan as the CEO of Lost and Found Pharmacy.
“Do you have any collateral?”, Patty asks.
Rooting around in a bag she brought with her, she used her teeth to carefully pull out a small porcelain figurine.
“I’m not sure if we can accept this,” says Patty. “Let me ask my manager.”
Patty calls her manager over and explains the situation. The manager says, “It’s a knickknack, Patty Black, give the dog a loan.”
Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I want to tell you about our next movie night. On Wednesday the 21st of December, we will be showing The Muppet Christmas Carol on our movie screen at 5PM. This movie is free to the public and what better way to get ready for the holidays than to see a bunch of singing Muppets trying to help Ebeneezer Scrooge change his ways.
Let’s talk about some of the other things I have coming up in the not too distant future:
- Friday, December 2nd, 6:30ish – 9PM, Board Game Night ~ This has long been a tradition to come in on a Friday and have fun playing games.
- Saturday, December 3rd, 1PM – 3PM, Tech Help (the group formerly known as Old Men That Sit Around and Talk About Computers) ~ This group meets every Saturday to help others with their tech problems and/or talk about trending technology. We have solved a lot of computer problems for various platforms and devices including phones, smart watches, digital cameras, CD players, and we have helped people with numerous software problems ranging from laptop and cell phone apps to even thing like Apple Car Play.
- Saturday, December 3rd, 7PM – 8:30PM, Bereans Group ~ This group, which is open to the public, is spending this evening discussing the inerrancy of the Bible. It is a pretty complicated and controversial subject, but since our group regularly proves that we just don’t know any better than to avoid certain subjects, it should be a lot of fun.
- Tuesday, December 6th, 7PM – 8:30PM, Bible Study ~ We are continuing our study on the Gospel of John. We are at the beginning of chapter 22 right after the infamous doubting Thomas moment. We started this particular book at the beginning of January this year, we have not missed a single week, and we are set up to finish before the end of the year. You’ve heard of the Bible in a year, well we managed one book of the Bible in a year. Join us as we finish up!
- Saturday, December 10th, 5PM – 7PM, Staff and Volunteer Christmas Party ~ We love all those that help us everyday to make Lost and Found awesome! We will close a little early to have food, wassail, and a white elephant gift exchange to thank everyone that makes what we do look so easy!
- Wednesday, December 21st, 5PM – 7PM, The Muppet Christmas Carol ~ Come and join us for a free movie for the public to enjoy. Our December movie is The Muppet Christmas Carol. This may or may not be what Charles Dickens intended, but it is my favorite rendition of this Christmas classic. Closed captions will be included.
- Saturday, January 7th, 11AM-12noon, LEGO Contest ~ We will be celebrating the 90th anniversary of LEGOs with a competition for kids in first through sixth grade. Various prizes for different age categories will be given out and the competition is free to the public.
Now for the part everyone always asks about, the food! Our current soup is our delicious hash brown soup, our current sandwich is kielbasa, and our specialty ice creams are currently Salted Caramel Brownie and Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. Also, while it last, our current specialty waffle is the seasonally appropriate pumpkin and in another weak will be replaced by a chocolate waffle.
Thanks and God bless