Safeway complaint: Financial Elder Abuse

Complaint from Take Care of the Kapuna reported on 15 November 2023 about Safeway

New complaint
Complaint pending
Complaint resolved
Complaint closed

My complaint:

My 93 yr old father went to pick up his prescription’s. The clerk was rude and first said there were none for pick up. I had to show her my phone text that they were in. She found them, and rung them up. She never described what he was getting or the costs. She didn’t say , your mainland insurance doesn’t work here in Hawaii and that none of this is covered by your insurance or do you have new insurance because you bill will be $ 352.19 without. If she had , he would have given her his new card for Hawaii with as his location. He had full coverage at the time the prescription was purchased. He paid as normal and came home and a week later realized he was overcharged, my insurance should have paid for this. This was 11/3/2023.

We went back into the store 11/13/2023 and spoke with the Pharmacy manager and explained. We asked can you refund this bill and recharge it to the insurance since you didn’t ask in the first place. He said no, it is done we cannot . I said that makes no sense, you were to blame and no harm to refund and charge correctly. He disagreed, said no and your father should have looked at his bill and not paid , that is his responsibility. I said true, but normally Gary the pharmacist i have dealt with for the last 7 years would ask and point out something like this. He said nothing and refused to help. I asked if he had a manager and he said no, I’m the Pharmacy Manager. He had absolutely no empathy or concern for my elderly father or for the fact that this was horrible customer service.

We left and I called my fathers insurance company today 11/14/2023 UnitedHealthCare. They said , it’s no problem we can call the pharmacy and have them file a claim with us online and refund your father for what our coverage pays.
Thus far no one at the pharmacy will pick up the phone , they have it on a recording that they are at lunch, but it is 3:37 Hawaii time.
UnitedHealthcare said we will go around them and you submit a claim thru us which we will do.

The Bigger concerning part, is that an Elderly person is being overcharged, and with the possible intent for gain on Safeway’s behalf but not submitting claims to their insurance company for payments. This bill was not insignificant , it is $ 352.19 .

I will be filing a complaint with the CFPB for financial elderly abuse for over charging .

Suggested solution:

Have a very serious conversation upper management about your new Pharmacy manager and his staff . This is serious Elderly are a protected class. This should have never happened to anyone, not just the elderly.
I'd look into claims since he has been on staff to see if a rise in revenue and insurance companies not being billed. He was far to dismissive for this to be a one off.

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