Due to a variety of issues that have been identified regarding incentives and in-store promotions, the WIC Program has established the following clarification to its current policies on this topic.
Effective April 21, 2014, incentives offered to WIC participants are limited in value to a maximum value of $2.00. Vendors are not allowed to add multiple transactions together to increase the value of the incentive being offered to the WIC participant.
Examples of items not allowed based on the $2.00 limit are packages of diapers and/or additional cans of infant formula.
The following are allowable incentives that are exceptions to the $2.00 limit. The exceptions listed here must be provided at no cost to the WIC Program, and are subject to documentation and verification upon request:
Discounts applied directly to the total transaction amount being charged to the WIC Program.
Loyalty programs or clubs that require participant enrollment and documented membership. Also: Membership to the program or club must include proof of enrollment or some form of membership identifier issued to the member at the time of enrollment; And, the program or club must meet all applicable state and federal regulations.
Free ounces added to food item by manufacturer (bonus size items)
Buy one, get one (BOGO) – the sale of one WIC food item as part of a normal WIC transaction and the provision of an additional item at no added cost, or a second item at a reduced price. Infant formula may not be included as any part of a BOGO.
Specific incentives that are NOT allowed under any circumstances:
Cash or cash equivalent – such as debit cards (pre-paid or not), checks, money orders, phone cards, gas cards, gift cards. This clarification of the definition of cash also applies to all references to cash found in the current WIC Vendor Contract and the WIC Vendor Sanction Policy.
A violation of any of these terms will be sanctioned in accordance with the current Vendor Sanction Policy. The WIC Program will determine the sanction for any violation of these terms on a case by case basis. The minimum sanction for any violation of these terms will be 20 violation points, in accordance with Section A, #12 of the current Vendor Sanction Policy. Other sanctions may apply as well.
As a reminder, a vendor may be terminated and disqualified from the WIC Program upon accumulating 35 or more violation points.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please contact the WIC Division office at 517-335-8937 if you have any questions.