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More pharmacies offering walk-ins

Vaccinations should be free regardless of insurance
Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 9:47 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As demand continues to drop for the COVID-19 vaccines, public health officials will soon have to re-evaluate the need for public drive-thru vaccination sites and rely more heavily on their federal pharmacy partners.

Those pharmacies are now making it easier than ever to get the vaccine.

This week Walmart and Sam’s Club announced they’re offering Walk-up COVID-19 vaccines at all 150 of their pharmacies across Tennessee.

Federal pharmacy partners such as CVS, Walgreens and Kroger have administered more than 730,000 shots and every shot should be free.

However, one woman who called our newsroom says she got quite the surprise one week after getting her first Pfizer shot at the Collierville Kroger “Little Clinic”.

She got a bill from her insurance company asking for $40.

The woman who goes by Mary told WMC over the phone, “I was really shocked because everything is free and I just didn’t know what to do because I was like I’m not going to pay this.”

The Centers for Disease Control says on their website, “The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.”

It goes on to say that COVID-19 vaccination providers can seek appropriate reimbursement from the recipient’s health insurance or program for an administrative fee.

Most pharmacies will ask for your insurance card, but no one should ask you directly to provide any type of payment.

Mary said she provided her insurance card, but her insurance only paid $5 of the bill.

We reached out to Kroger for an explanation who said in part, “Should a Kroger patient receive a bill for their COVID-19 vaccine, our Kroger Health teams will help to navigate through the process of correcting the charge to ensure our patients receive their vaccine at no cost.”

Mary said she reached out to the health department that worked with Kroger to get her money back.

However, if you find yourself in a similar situation remember all vaccines are free and to contact your insurance company or provider for an explanation.

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