Mollen Immunization Clinics

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"Free" isn't "Free"
Posted by on
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA -- My wife and I had flu shots at the local WalMart (store #1765) provided my Mollen Immunization Clinics on 10/10/2009. We were both reassured that it would be at no charge to us. They asked us to see our insurance cards, which we did, and we were told that they accepted all Blue Cross / Blue Shield cards. We each got a bill for $28.00. I called their 877-279-3588 and talked to a Heather at ext.333. She confirmed that they do take all Blue Cross/Blue Shield policies and we were told to disregard the bill. If we had any other problems, to contact her. Several months later, we each got another bill for $28.00, stating that this was our second notice. I called Heather and she said to disregard this bill. It was a billing error and she apologized. We both recently got another bill, our third notice, for $28.00 each. I contacted Heather once again and this time she said that it was a valid bill. There was a mis-communication between BC/BS and that I had to pay the $56.00. This was advertised as a FREE Flu Shot. We double checked to make sure that it was free. They checked our insurance info and confirmed that we would owe nothing. I have sent them a check for $56.00 so that I would not be sent to collections. I thought that "Free" meant "at no charge". This is false advertising. We asked for them to verify everything. They did. They told us to disregard 2 bills, and now it is a valid bill? An error in their part should constitute us having to pay for something they said was free. (Heather said that my wife and myself have an "individual" policy with BC/BS--it is not individual--it is a group policy through my employer. They do not cover "individual" policies.)
     
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Lifemates on 2010-09-16:
As the wise man said 'Nothing is ever free'
spiderman2 on 2010-09-16:
The Blue Cross policy that we subscribe to does not cover immunizations. I'm sure somewhere in the very, very, very, very small print it stated that its free if your insurance covers immunizations. I think they should state that to you up front. The only time I ever got a free immunization was last year when my state was immunizing for swine flu for high risk people....and even then it truly wasn't free because I pay taxes!
Anonymous on 2010-09-16:
Two more reasons why I don't get "Flu Shots".
The Op(s) may have been misinformed but should have known better.
Thanks for the heads up.
momsey on 2010-09-16:
Why did you show your insurance card if it was free? That would have been a red flag to me.
Anonymous on 2010-09-16:
Me too.
It wouldn't have hurt if they had called BC/BS to confirm either.
Skye on 2010-09-16:
I concur with momsey. If it was truly free, they would never ask to see your insurance card.
Nohandle on 2010-09-16:
There is a service offered in this area by the State Health Department. They set up clinics and they are advertised beforehand. All one does is provide ID of some nature to prove they are indeed a resident of the state. That's it. If someone can/will pay the cost is $5.00 perhaps $10.00 at most for the shot. The Health Department doesn't file insurance claims. I guess if you want that, make an appointment and vist your physician.
Anonymous on 2010-09-16:
Definitely sounds like a bait & switch scam to me.
laurelhighlander on 2010-09-17:
Live and learn..... The ONLY reason that we did it was because it was easier than going to the Dr. We weren't available when the state was doing their clinic.
oldisgood on 2010-09-17:
If you have any questions about being charged, call BC/BS and talk to a CSR. They will tell you immediately if your particular policy covers immunizations. I wanted a "shingles" shot last year and found out they were $215. I didn't think my BC/BS policy would cover it, but I called and was told that it WAS covered and I could go to any pharmacy covered under my policy. I went to a Safeway and got the shot and it was FREE. I have also called to see if a certain doctor is on their PPO list or not. It only takes a minute to check.
JamesD71 on 2012-01-26:
I got the $25 Mullen flu shot in late October 2011, paying for it online before going down to nWalmart to receive the shot. They charged my credit card on 12/14/11, stating that their paperwork takes 4-6 weeks. My monthly card statement closed on 12/24/11 and I paid the bill in full. Lo & behold, they hit my credit card again, on 12/27/11 for a double charge. Their accounting department representative acknowledged the double charge but said that her department supervisor would have to approve a refund (Credit) for the 2nd charge to my card...she could not confirm that I would indeed be getting the refund. I called the credit card company and worked it from that end with immediate account credit success.
Liz on 2012-03-26:
I just got a $25 bill from Mollen mid March 2012 for injection Nov 1, 2011 at Walmart. I am a cancer patient and could have gotten it at any time during a visit to my many MD's, but Mollen nurse was "recruiting" people who were shopping. I filled out the BC/BS paperwork and received shot. I was impressed by the convenience of it all. Now Mollen states it was "turned down" but I can get "reimbursement" because it is covered. I called BC/BS who have no record of them filing a claim but told me they were having a lot of issues with this company. I am not going to stress over paying $25. However, this was NOT convenient, is now a paperchase, and ultimately may be out of pocket. I consider this false advertisement, and will let Walmart know about it. I certainly will not use their services again.
Nurse on 2013-07-25:
I worked for Mollen giving flu shots. The information they gave nurses regarding who was covered by their insurance and who was not was contradictory, confusing, and just a total mess, to say the least. I am sorry for your experiences.
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Mollen Immunization Clinics II
Posted by on
SCOTTSDALE, ARKANSAS -- I was given a flu shot September 2009 at a Wal-Mart by Mollens Immunization Clinics and was under the impression my insurance would cover it, as I had Secure Health and Medicare. Now just last week (06-15-2010) after 8 months I was sent a bill for $12 as they say the flu shot cost $30 and after insurance I owe $12.26. Now they send me another bill where they used an EOB from another Doctor I visited and is not associated with them in any way, and they say I owe $26 on this bill. Anyway, taking 8 months to send a bill is poor service. After googling "Mollens" I have found other complaints where others are now receiving a bill after 8 months. I have also sent a complaint to Wal-Mart not to use this company in their stores if there service is this poor.
     
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designerramsey on 2010-07-19:
My husband and I did the same thing back in October 2009 - went to Wal Mart and had us and 3 of our children vaccinated with the flu shot - told that they would file our insurance. Here it is July and NONE of the shots were "covered" - they said that our insurances (state of Arkansas - Blue Cross) wouldn't accept them. They apparently knew this prior! We could have just as easily waited in line at our doctor's office or the health dept and our insurance would have paid. We feel that both Wal Mart and Mollen's misrepresented themselves. Why did they bother coming to Arkansas when they are based in Arizona and knowing that most Arkansas insurance providers would not cover this.
Also_scammed on 2011-12-27:
My wife and I got flu shots at our local Sam's Club (Utica, MI) in Sep-11. Their scam must have been refined some since your experiences, because I was told they didn't accept my insurance (a LIE), and that I would have to pay cash and submit the claim to my insurance company. So, I did.

It turns out that they do accept Aetna insurance, and have a pre-negotiated rate contract with Aetna. Bottom line: they lie to consumers so they can get the full price from them. It is only later that the consumer finds out that they can only get reimbursed for the pre-negotiated rate if the provider is covered under a supply agreement with the insurer.

Mollen's will not reimburse the difference (even with the aid of my insurance carrier service rep). They lie to consumers to get the full price for the shots instead of having to settle for the ~40% lower reimbursement of the pre-negotiated amount from insurance carriers.
Wendy on 2012-12-11:
Same thing I got a flu shot and pnemonia they said my ins covered both now they send me a bill 4 months later for 105.00 I don't plan on paying them a dime they lied.
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It Is Up To You To Know What Your Insurance Coverage Is
Posted by on
Regarding payment for flu vaccine at mobile clinic. Some clinics have arrangements to bill certain companies for you. They should NEVER promise that an immunization is FREE. They have no way of know about your individual plan deductibles, co-pays etc. All plans will let you send in a receipt for consideration. You can download them or call your company and they will send you one. Medicare age people are the most confused. They buy Medicare Advantage programs and have know idea that they have sold their Medicare to BCBS or whoever, and they NO LONGER have Medicare.

I say to anybody that wants to know what they have to pay, call their insurance company. It is no more work than finding a doctor, hospital, lab, or radiology provider that takes your insurance. Otherwise you can make an appointment with your heathcare provider and go through the same thing. Then again if you need 'free' go to your local health department or check the local senior center.

Beware of ANY insurance program that does not cover flu vaccine. This is one of the cheapest ways for them to save money. If they scrimp on this I would worry what they might exclude if you have a real claim.

Life is just not that hard.

Judih H. Peck
     
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Anonymous on 2010-09-23:
Good advice. I do think that many insurance companies do not cover vaccines of any sort, except well child immunizations. We have had several insurance companies over the years and none of them covered our annual flu shots or immunizations, like tetanus, but the rest of the coverage was excellent. That being said, I agree with you. It would ultimately be a money saver for the insurance companies.
Nohandle on 2010-09-23:
Nice reminder to check your coverage to determine your particular benefits. In this area the Health Department sets up shop in a variety of locations for flu shots. They do not file insurance claims to my knowledge. One simply provides ID to prove he is a resident of the state. If he is unable to pay there is no charge. If he can the charge is near nothing, $5.00 perhaps $10.00 at the very most. It certainly beats making an appointment at the doctor's office and waiting in line. I've been surprised at some things my insurance will cover and question why something else isn't.
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