Walgreens to Enter Health Insurance Business
In an interview last year with Crain’s Chicago Business, Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson said the company supported “the three core tenets of health care reform: improved quality, greater access to care and lower cost.”
With more than 7700 drugstores and 350 Take Care Clinics across the country, it is widely believed that Walgreens will be one of the major beneficiaries of federal health care legislation as millions more become covered by health insurance.
Now, according to a CNNMoney.com report, Walgreens is looking to take further advantage of the opportunity by offering health insurance plans through a private exchange.
Part of the new law is the creation of federal and state health exchanges by 2014 to offer subsidized insurance for those without insurance or not enough.
“For retailers, [creating a private insurance exchange] is a way to generate more revenue from a new business,” Chris Hoffman, chief marketing officer at the investment banking firm TripleTree, told CNNMoney.
“Those companies that get their exchanges up and running before 2014 could also succeed in stealing customers away from the public exchanges,” he said.
According to TripleTree, 36 million people will buy health insurance through exchanges between 2014 and 2019. Walgreens has remained mum on whether it is getting into the health insurance business as reported.
“As always, we’re looking at a number of options in light of health care reform as we continue to seek ways to help our customers better navigate today’s health care system,” a Walgreens spokesman told CNNMoney.
- Healthcare Reform Good for Some Chains – RetailWire
- Walgreens plans to sell you health insurance – CNNMoney
Discussion Questions: What do you think of Walgreens and other retailers offering health insurance to customers? Are there other new businesses and opportunities that federal health care legislation will open up for retailers?