The retail giant is selling the policies for Medicare medical and drug benefits that will begin next year.
Walmart health plans are launching through a new brokerage that will make the policies available in time for seniors to enroll during the Medicare medical and drug benefit open enrollment for 2021.
Seniors will be able to enroll in this coverage this fall throughout the open enrollment period.
The retailer announced the move earlier this week, bringing Walmart health plans into heavy competition within an industry facing a rapidly increasing number of seniors eligible for Medicare. Large insurers have already been broadening their reach into hundreds of new counties for selling Medicare Advantage policies and Medicare part D drug benefits, said a recent Forbes report.
The massive retailer is launching it in the form of Walmart Insurance Services. That is a licensed insurance brokerage. According to Walmart, it will “assist people with enrolling in insurance plans—and simplify what’s historically been a cumbersome, confusing process.” It will work with a spectrum of exiting regional and national carriers, including UnitedHealthcare (the health insurance unit from UnitedHealth Group), Humana, and Wellcare Health Plans from Centene.
Walmart health plans are licensed in every state across the US for the upcoming open enrollment.
“We are licensed in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C., and we have built a team of licensed insurance agents who can help people find the right insurance plan for them,” said Walmart US Health & Wellness senior vice president and chief operating officer Lori Flees.
The company will begin the sale of its Medicare medical and drug benefit policies as the open enrollment period begins on October 15, and which runs through to December 7.
Other insurers have also been announcing their own expansions for availability during that open enrollment period, showing that the competition will be fierce when seniors eligible for Medicare seek to compare plans and decide whether they will stay with their current coverage or switch to a new option.
Walmart health plans will involve a number of options, which contract with the federal government to provide seniors with additional services and benefits.