In ‘Early Innings’ of Major Retail Collabs, UnitedHealth-Walmart Make Medicare Play

With a focus on Medicare Advantage beneficiaries, UnitedHealth Group and Walmart Inc. have struck a 10-year “wide-ranging collaboration” with value-based care elements that could ultimately extend into Medicaid and commercial plans. In addition to launching a co-branded MA plan, the partnership will connect Walmart Health clinicians with Optum’s analytics and decision support tools for value-based care delivery, and it represents the latest example of a major retailer seeking out a partner to grow its health care business.

Walmart already has a Medicare Part D partnership with Humana Inc. and in October 2020 introduced a co-branded MA offering with Clover Health. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant at the time also launched an insurance brokerage called Walmart Insurance Services. According to walmartinsurance.com, it sells plans from Anthem (Elevance Health), Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, UnitedHealthcare and Centene Corp.’s WellCare. The site does not, however, list Clover Health, and a spokesperson for Walmart confirms that the collaboration ended in 2021.

© 2022 MMIT
Lauren Flynn Kelly

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues, including drug benefits and specialty pharmacy, for more than a decade. She served as editor of Drug Benefit News (the predecessor to Radar on Drug Benefits) from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016, and now manages Radar on Medicare Advantage. Lauren graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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