The health care scene in the US could be set to changed forever over the coming years as two of the world’s largest retailers look set to get more involved in the multi billion dollar health care industry.
Announced today was the news that the world’s largest retailer -Walmart has partnered with health insurance company Anthem enabling it to expand its access to over-the-counter medications and supplies for the seniors market.
Starting in January next year, Walmart will offer in-store discounts on medicines, products and services all sold over-the-counter to members enrolled in Anthem’s supplemental Medicare pharma program. Felicia Norwood, the executive vice president and president of Anthem’s government business division, said in a statement:
“Creating a better healthcare future requires us to think differently about how we can develop innovative and meaningful healthcare solutions for consumers. We believe that programs like this can make a tremendous difference for healthcare consumers who often live on a fixed income or are managing chronic medical conditions.”
Sean Slovenski, the senior vice president of health and wellness at Walmart U.S, also said: “Walmart is committed to making healthcare more affordable and accessible, and we are in constant pursuit of new ways to deliver on this commitment”
Changing Shape of Healthcare
The surprise move comes after a wealth of rumors which circulated earlier in the year that Walmart was in talks regarding a merger with Humana, a health insurance company. Walmart has long been involved in the US health care industry. The retail giant currently offers pharmacy services, health clinics, durable medical equipment, immunizations and wellness days. However, it is becoming very intense between players in the health care field. Amazon did beat Walmart to the acquisition of PillPack, which many analysts had expected Walmart to do. Meanwhile, CVS has gradually built a new brand proposition as a holistic healthcare provider, focusing more on healthcare than its retail sector
The US healthcare industry is one in a bit of turmoil as US consumers face insurance and care options that are becoming more and more expensive. Medical cost comparison is getting increasingly important as the costs and potential savings become more apparent. The Affordable Care Act which is now eight years old has come under constant fire from President Donald Trump. It now looks as though, there will be considerable disruption to the health care industry in the US and it appears the big-hitting retailers are stepping in to shape healthcare in the US for the foreseeable future.