News : Kroger

Kroger Members - COVID-19 Updates

The union has reached out to Kroger regarding COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus; updates for members can be found below.
8/26/20 UPDATE:

On September 1, 2020, all Kroger members will receive $100 loaded on their Kroger card and 1000 fuel points in appreciation for their continued work during the pandemic.

5/15/20 UPDATE:

UFCW 951 and Kroger announce "Thank You Pay" update for Kroger members. The new $130 million Thank You Pay bookends an Appreciation Pay first provided to frontline workers for their efforts at the start of the pandemic in March. It also follows Hero Pay from April through mid-May, with a final payment on May 23. The Thank You Pay, which will be $400 for qualified full-time associates and $200 for qualified part-time associates, will be paid out in two installments: $65 million on May 28 and $65 million on June 18. Associates must be active on or before May 23 to be eligible for Thank You Pay. 

Click here for more information.

5/1/20 UPDATE:

UFCW 951 and Kroger announced the company has agreed to extend Appreciation Pay to May 16.

4/1/20 UPDATE:

Today, UFCW 951 and the Kroger Co. announced a new increase to the pay and benefits for the company’s more than 460,000 workers across the country.

Kroger and UFCW have been working closely to ensure that these grocery workers are able to continue to provide the necessary food and supplies to their communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Kroger and UFCW announced the following increases to pay, benefits, and protections for frontline associates across the country:

♦ $2 Per Hour Pay Increase which will be paid to hourly frontline associates in retail stores, manufacturing plants, distribution centers, central fills, pharmacies and contact call centers for the next three weeks at which point UFCW and Kroger will revisit discussions.

♦ Providing Emergency Paid Leave: This ensures that any associates who are affected by COVID-19 – whether experiencing symptoms and self-isolating, diagnosed or placed in quarantine – can recover with the financial support they need.

♦ Additional Cleaning and Sanitizing protocols which include allowing associates to wash their hands and sanitize their registers every 30 minutes.

♦ Shortened Store Operating Hours to provide ample time to allow restocking, cleaning, and to provide appropriate rest and relief for associates.

♦ Installing plexiglass partitions at check lanes, pharmacy and Starbucks registers across each store.

♦ Adding floor decals to promote physical distancing at check lanes and other counters.

♦ Earlier Access to Pay: Beginning next week, the Kroger Family of Companies is adding ExpressPay – a new benefit that allows most hourly associates to access some of their pay faster, putting money in their pockets sooner than usual.

♦ Financial Assistance for Childcare and Other Needs: Kroger will make $5 million available for those facing hardship, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered high-risk, due to COVID-19 through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund.

♦ Employee Hotline: Kroger will offer an associate hotline to answer benefit questions quickly.

♦ Expanded Health Care Services: Kroger will provide access to mental health services and other benefits to support associates’ mental and physical well-being during this stressful time.


Appreciation Pay

Frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing and customer service members will receive a one-time payment of $300 for full-time and $150 for part-time. Members who were working for the company on or before March 1, 2020 are eligible. This appreciation pay will be paid out on April 3.

Expanded Emergency Leave Guidelines

Last week, Rite Aid introduced new COVID-19 Emergency Leave Guidelines, allowing paid time off for members diagnosed with COVID-19 and for members placed under mandatory quarantine by their medical provider or by a public health authority because of exposure to COVID-19.

Effective immediately Rite Aid will expand those guidelines to also cover COVID-19 related self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an appropriate health care professional. All eligible members will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).

Managers will work with you on a case by case basis with the application of general attendance policies, knowing that we must be flexible during this time. If members are unable to return to work after 14 days, additional paid time off may be available through a short-term disability (STD) benefit.


Helping Hands – Financial Assistance

We have also made available additional resources through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund to provide for those who face hardship due to COVID-19, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered high-risk.

Well-Being Assistant

The Well-Being Assistant, Powered by Magellan Health, is a free and confidential service to help connect you to the resources you need to be your best you. All members- and dependents who live in the same home as members - can access this service 24/7, by calling 1-800-547-1442.

Live Health Online

Easy and convenient access to the care you need, when you need it most. Visit with an in-network, board certified physician 24/7, 365 days a year. Talk to an in-network licensed therapist or board-certified psychiatrist 7 days a week, including nights and weekends. Live Health Online goes where you go: access via smart phone, tablet or computer Activate/Access your account by going to or download the free mobile app. This service is available to Anthem and Non-Anthem Members at costs ranging from $59-$95 depending on the type of visit.

In addition, if you are tested for COVID-19 and are covered under one of our company health care plans your testing costs will be covered at 100%.

3/19/20 UPDATE:

Heartland Health and Wellness Fund - EXPANDED COVERAGE for COVID-19 (new recommendations):

Testing and Care Benefits:

Anthem recommends waiving the members' cost share, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles, for diagnostic testing related to COVID-19, as well as for the in-network visit associated with COVID-19 testing, whether it takes place at a doctor’s office, urgent care center or emergency department.  If an in-network provider isn’t available, we’ll work with members to make sure they’re covered. 

Please note, if you confirm that your Fund will follow Anthem’s current recommendation for COVID-19 coverage, you will automatically be “opting in” to follow any future COVID-19 coverage recommendations by Anthem, which may be updated based on the latest information available from both government and medical resources.  Updates will be communicated to you and you can opt out at any time by contacting me.  Recall that Anthem’s recommendations follow what we are applying for our Fully Insured customers.

If you would prefer to follow the state mandates for COVID-19 coverage issued where your Fund is headquartered, which may include additional coverage requirements.


We recommend members use telehealth when possible to help prevent the spread of infection and improve access to care.  Anthem’s telehealth provider, LiveHealth Online, is a safe and effective way for members to receive medical guidance related to COVID-19 from their homes using a smartphone, tablet or computer with a web cam.  To promote the use of telehealth services, Anthem recommends waiving member cost shares for LiveHealth Online visits through June 14, 2020 (if your Plan has member cost share).  The waiver would include both medical and behavioral health visits (if your Plan offers coverage for LiveHealth Online behavioral health visits.)  If you currently do not offer LiveHealth Online benefits and would like to add them.