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Albertsons Expanding Food, Medicine Access via Supplemental Health Benefits

Grocer partners with fintech company FIS, health equity org Soda Health
Albertsons Produce Main Image
Health benefit cards can be used to purchase eligible over-the-counter medicine and wellness products, in addition to nutritious foods, whole grains, fish and poultry.

Albertsons Cos. has teamed with Jacksonville, Fla.-based global financial services technology leader FIS, whose technology platform is used by such supplemental health benefits administrators as Fresh Connect, PayForward and WEX. Additionally, the grocer has entered into a partnership to accept benefit cards from Chicago-based Soda Health, which works to improve health equity by customizing benefits based on individual needs. Customers with FIS and Soda Health-integrated benefit cards will now be able to buy eligible food and health items at Albertsons banner stores.

Pre-paid debit cards funded by Medicare Advantage plans, employers, health care providers or local governments, health benefit cards can be used to purchase eligible over-the-counter medicine and wellness products, in addition to nutritious foods, whole grains, fish and poultry. Customers eligible for SNAP and WIC benefits can also use their cards in conjunction with an EBT account.

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Albertsons is also continuing its partnerships with benefit card providers Solutran (S3), InComm (OTC Network) and Speak (formerly Speak Retail Group). Most national health plans, among them Aetna, Humana, United Healthcare and Centene, and many regional plans, including Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna, offer such benefits.

“Expanding our benefit card partnerships are essential in ensuring that our customers have access to the broadest selection of nutritious food, supplements and OTC medicine that improve their health and well-being,” said Omer Gajial, Albertsons’ EVP of pharmacy and health. “We are striving to be more than just a neighborhood grocery store; we want to build a deeper connection with our customers, support them in their wellness journey and address hunger in our most vulnerable communities.”

In accordance with a company-wide commitment to fight hunger and encourage healthy eating, the Albertsons Cos. Foundation pledged to reduce food insecurity through its Nourishing Neighbors program by boosting the availability of fresh produce and nutritious foods in local food banks, soup kitchens and community organizations. Additionally, Albertsons and its foundation will help 50,000 eligible consumers enroll in SNAP and WIC benefits in 2023.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates more than 2,200 retail stores with 1,700-plus pharmacies, 402 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 19 manufacturing facilities. It has stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under 24 banners, among them Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lovers Market. Albertsons is No. 9 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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