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Walmart partners with Clover Health to offer Medicare Advantage plans

This foray marks Walmart's first steps into the insurance market and follows its recent moves to expand into the health space.

Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

Walmart and insurtech company Clover Health have teamed up to offer Medicare Advantage plans to eligible seniors in Georgia for the upcoming year.

The new plan called LiveHealthy: Clover Powered, Walmart Enhanced (PPO) will be available in eight counties, including Bartow, Bibb, Cherokee, Cobb, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale.

Members of the plan will have a zero-dollar monthly premium as well as free primary care visits, lab tests, preventative dental exams and annual physicals. Additionally, members will have access to the Walmart health centers in the state as well as a network of 31 hospitals and more than 8,000 providers.

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Individuals eligible for Medicare can enroll during the annual election period, beginning October 15 and ending December 7. Coverage will begin on the first of the new year.

WHY THIS MATTERS

This foray marks Walmart's first steps into the insurance market and follows its recent moves to expand into the health space.

It first remodeled 500 stores across two dozen states to include updated pharmacy areas equipped with private consultation rooms.

From there, Walmart Health opened its first brick-and-mortar location in Dallas, Georgia where patients could get primary care, dental, counseling, lab services, X-rays, audiology and more. After one year, the company announced plans last month that it would expand its services to operate 22 facilities by the end of 2021.

Following the announcement of an expanded fleet of Walmart Health clinics, the company began a pilot program to deliver COVID-19 tests by drones.

The retail giant has also moved into the digital health space by rolling out a platform of its own where patients can schedule appointments. Additionally, Walmart acquired CareZone's medication management platform earlier this year.

THE LARGER TREND

As the start of the annual election period approaches, insurance companies have begun announcing their updated coverage for 2021.

Cigna will expand its MA plans into 67 new counties in five new states, with both HMO and PPO plans available. UnitedHealthcare announced its updated MA offerings that span across 35 states. Humana is also growing into new territories by adding 69 new plans across hundreds of additional counties.

ON THE RECORD

"Walmart is committed to delivering quality care at affordable prices for our customers, and we are proud to partner with Clover Health to help people get the healthcare they want and deserve," said Marcus Osborne, senior vice president of Walmart U.S. Health and Wellness. "Providers in Walmart Health will use Clover's data-driven technology, Clover Assistant, to help support the healthcare journey of LiveHealthy members as they live better, healthier lives."

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org