October 8, 2020

Walmart Insurance Services is here—and it's coming to your state

Daily Briefing

    Walmart on Tuesday announced it plans to offer Medicare health plans for 2021 through a new brokerage, Walmart Insurance Services, marking the retailer's latest move into the health care industry.

    Inside Walmart's newest venture

    Walmart Insurance Services is a licensed insurance brokerage, established in July, that will collaborate with several national and regional insurance carriers to offer Medicare Advantage, Medicare part D drug coverage, and Medicare supplement plans for the 2021 coverage period. While Walmart said additional insurers may join in the future, insurers that are currently participating include Amerigroup, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Centene, Clover Health, Humana, Simply Health, and UnitedHealthcare.

    (Daily Briefing is published by Advisory Board, a division of Optum, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group. UnitedHealth Group separately owns UnitedHealthcare.)

    Walmart Insurance Services, which is licensed in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., will start selling these plans on Oct. 15, the start of Medicare's annual enrollment period for 2021, through Dec. 7. According to Lori Flees, SVP and COO of Walmart U.S. Health & Wellness, Walmart Insurance Services has "built a team of licensed insurance agents" to help consumers find and enroll in their preferred plan.

    For MA plans in particular, Walmart Insurance Services will offer multiple options, Forbes reports, including plans with extra services and benefits for members, such as disease management and nurse assistance hotlines, as well as programs for vision, dental care, and wellness management (Zainab Hussain, Reuters, 10/6; Japsen, Forbes, 10/6, Flees, Walmart press release, 10/6).

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