I-Team: Kroger, Blue Cross at odds over immunization payments

Friday, December 29, 2017
Kroger, Blue Cross at odds over payment
Kroger, Blue Cross Blue Shield at adds over payment.

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- A prominent grocery chain and North Carolina insurance giant are reportedly at odds over payments for immunizations, and have thus terminated a medical contract that provided "in network" coverage.

Cincinnati-based Kroger, with 14 locations in the Triangle, confirmed to the ABC11 I-Team that its pharmacies will not provide shots for the flu, pneumonia or shingles, to those patients with policies from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Instead, the customers can still get those immunizations, but they would be required to pay in full (a flu shot costs $40).

"Kroger is diligently working to resolve this concern," Allison McGee, a Kroger spokeswoman, told ABC11. "We are hopeful that BCBS NC will work with us on an expedient resolution."

McGee first blamed the gap in coverage on a "paperwork technicality," but later explained that Kroger said it believes Blue Cross-Blue Shield has not paid up on claims submitted by the pharmacies. The issue was first discovered within the last 30 days.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is North Carolina's largest provider of health insurance, issuing at least 3.89 million policies.

It's also the only insurer in the state that provides policies through HealthCare.gov, the exchange created by the Affordable Care Act.

Company representatives told ABC11 the issue only affects the immunizations, and customers should not be concerned about their prescriptions.

Customers can use the BCBSNC app to look up a location or call the company to find out where their flu shot is covered. More on flu shots here on the insurer's Blog