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Anthem BCBS-Ohio, Kroger Health Offer Medicare Plans Allowing Food

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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio and Kroger Health, the healthcare division of the Kroger Co., will offer new 2022 Medicare Advantage plans with benefits and services to address an individual’s whole-health needs and well-being.

Eligible members enrolled in one of these plans will have benefit allowances that can be used at Kroger Family Stores to buy nutritious food as well as health and wellness items.

“Anthem and Kroger Health share the goals of improving access to cost-effective healthcare services, driving health outcomes improvement and simplifying the healthcare experience,” said Neil Steffens, president of Anthem’s Medicare Central Region. “Anthem brings decades of experience working with consumers, clinicians, health systems and other stakeholders to ensure health plans members have access to the care and services they need.”

Eligible members in one of these new Medicare Advantage plans, called Anthem MediBlue + Kroger Dual Advantage (HMO D-SNP) and Anthem MediBlue + Kroger Access (PPO), will be given a Healthy Groceries Card, which will be loaded with up to $75 per month. They will be able to use the card to purchase healthy groceries at Kroger, reducing their monthly out-of-pocket costs and helping them achieve a balanced and nutritious diet.

These eligible members will also be given a quarterly allowance to spend on over the counter health items at Kroger. This benefit will help members reduce their out-of-pocket healthcare costs because they will be able to use their OTC allowance on everyday health-related items, like first aid supplies, support braces and pain relievers, instead of paying for the items with their own funds.

In addition, Kroger Health’s 2,200 pharmacies are in Anthem’s preferred network, which will also help reduce out-of-pocket costs for members compared to using pharmacies outside of their network.

“By partnering with Anthem, we are able to offer seniors in our communities access to affordable high quality healthcare services. And through the enhanced nutrition and OTC benefit, we can also provide preventive care using food as medicine,” said Jim Kirby, senior director of business development for Kroger Health. “Food and nutrition education are critical components of not only treating disease but preventing it before it starts.”

Eligible members will also have access to the plan’s Healthy Pantry benefit. With this benefit, members will have access to up to 12 monthly sessions with a Kroger Health dietitian who can provide nutritional education support. These members will also receive a monthly delivery of pantry staples from the grocer to help them make dietary changes.

Individuals who are interested in enrolling in a 2022 Medicare Advantage plan can do so during this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period. The AEP began Oct. 15 and continues through Dec. 7, and gives consumers enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B the opportunity to sign up for Anthem’s 2022 Medicare Advantage plans.

These plans will be available to Medicare-eligible residents in the following Ohio counties: Butler, Clermont, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery and Warren.

For more details about these health plan benefits and Anthem’s Medicare plans, consumers can call (855) 878-1109, which is available 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, April 1 to Sept. 30; and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days a week, Oct. 1 to March 31. Individuals can also visit the company’s online store at shop.anthem.com/medicare.

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