As the health care landscape in the U.S. undergoes radical changes, Walgreens, the acclaimed drugstore chain, is making plans to sell health insurance in-store. On Tuesday, CNNMoney reported that a Walgreens spokesman had revealed that the company was considering selling policies in light of the health care reform. The spokesperson noted that the move is inspired by the overwhelming need consumers have for insurance coverage. Walgreens seems to have been looking into selling policies for some time, as the spokesman says that the company will be ready to sell insurance by the end of the year.
Retailers selling insurance policies has become a relatively popular notion since the Affordable Care Act was passed last year. The law dictates that every state in the U.S. must establish a health insurance exchange – a program through which consumers can find affordable coverage. Exchanges are meant to be an electronic marketplace, allowing companies that do not normally deal in insurance to step into the arena and try to compete.
Walgreens is not alone in their interest in selling insurance as several other companies are keen to make a profit off of selling insurance policies. This growing interest among businesses outside of the insurance industry has paved the way for exchanges to become a multibillion-dollar industry.
Any business interested in selling insurance must, of course, adhere to the rigid regulations imposed by both the state and federal government. Whether retailers can meet these regulations is unclear, but Walgreens is certainly willing to give it a try.