- Walgreens and insurer Alignment Healthcare are partnering to launch co-branded Medicare Advantage plans starting next year.
- The zero-dollar premium plans will be available in 10 counties across Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, pending regulatory approval. They’ll reach about 1.6 million Medicare-eligible adults, according to a release from the insurer and retail giant.
- Members who enroll in the co-branded MA plans will be able to use over-the-counter benefits at Walgreens or online through a mail-order provider, and have access to a zero-dollar copay on more than 10,000 prescription drugs at Walgreens or other in-network pharmacies, the companies said.
MA, where private insurers contract with the government to provide Medicare benefits, is an increasingly popular arrangement for seniors, with more than half of eligible beneficiaries enrolled in the program in 2023. The plans usually offer additional benefits, like dental or vision coverage or gym stipends.
Walgreens has been doubling down on its healthcare services, recently hiring former Cigna executive Tim Wentworth as its chief executive and focusing on achieving profitability in its U.S. Healthcare segment, which includes value-based medical group VillageMD, home care provider CareCentrix and specialty pharmacy Shields Health Solutions.
Last week, Walgreens announced plans to launch direct-to-consumer telehealth visits for common health concerns like seasonal allergies, COVID-19 or flu later this month in select states.
The pharmacy chain already offers co-branded MA plans with UnitedHealthcare. In 2019 Walgreens signed a multi-year agreement with the insurance giant to open Medicare service centers in select stores.
John Driscoll, executive vice president and president of the U.S. Healthcare division, said in a statement that the latest deal with Alignment is “another way we can deliver more value and connected care for seniors.”
Walgreens isn’t the only retailer that has moved to launch its own co-branded MA plans.
Grocery chain Kroger announced its third MA offering with Select Health in August, which the partners say are meant to focus on health and wellness by providing customer savings on groceries and prescriptions at Kroger stores and pharmacies.
Walmart also offered a co-branded MA plan with Clover Health in 2021.