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Walmart quietly registers insurance business in latest health-care move

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A Walmart Care Clinic in Carrollton, Georgia, is ready to start seeing patients. Those who use the clinic will pay $4 if they are covered by Wal-Mart’s employee health plan or $40 if they do not.

Jodi Gralnick | CNBC

Walmart is making yet another move in the health-care world: It’s getting into the insurance business.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer confirmed to CNBC on Wednesday that it will start selling health insurance plans. It has job openings listed on its careers website for “Walmart Insurance Services LLC.” In the job posts, it says it’s looking to hire insurance agents in the Dallas area to sell supplemental Medicare insurance.

“We need passionate health insurance professionals to help us build this new business from the ground up and achieve our mission,” the job post said.

The news was previously reported by Med City News and Talk Business & Politics. The business filed with the Arkansas secretary of state in late June, according to the Med City News report.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove confirmed the creation of the insurance agency in a statement, but did not share details about the plans it will sell or their pricing.

“We’re always looking for ways to help our customers save money and live better, and insurance services is one another way we do that,” he said.

He said Walmart currently provides insurance information at Walmart Health, its primary clinic locations, and has an education program called Healthcare Begins Here that helps people find an insurance policy.

“We’re expanding our current insurance services to now include the sale of insurance policies to our customers,” he said. 

The big-box retailer has opened primary-care clinics, made health-care acquisitions and spoken about its broader ambitions. It previously teamed up with insurer Humana to offer a Walmart-branded Medicare prescription drug plan, but this marks the retailer’s first foray into managing health insurance itself.

Last month, Walmart reached a deal to acquire technology from CareZone, a start-up that helps people manage multiple medications. The retailer has opened four Walmart Health clinics in the U.S., with plans for more. The clinics offer a wide range of low-cost services, such as an annual checkup for $30 or a strep test for $20.

— CNBC’s Bertha Coombs contributed to this report.



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