Walgreens, UnitedHealth Team up for In-store Centers

December 5, 2019

UnitedHealthcare and Walgreens are partnering to open in-store centers.

In yet another example of the drug store and health insurance/pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) businesses coming together, UnitedHealthcare and Walgreens are partnering to open in-store centers.

 

UnitedHealthcare, the health benefits business of UnitedHealth Group, will open 14 UnitedHealthcare Medicare services centers within Walgreens stores in 5 metropolitan areas as part of a multi-year agreement.

 

“Walgreens’ collaboration with UnitedHealthcare helps people navigate their health care options and provides convenient access to affordable care,” says Rick Gates, senior vice president, pharmacy and healthcare at Walgreens, in a joint statement. “Through strategic partnerships like this, Walgreens store locations can offer comprehensive services tailored to the specific needs of the communities we serve that are conveniently accessible alongside our pharmacy services.”

 

The most notable example of the drug retailing and insurance crossover is the recent merger of CVS Health, the owner of the largest pharmacy chain and one of the largest PBMs, and Aetna.

UnitedHealthcare will start opening Medicare services centers in January 2020 at Walgreens stores in the Las Vegas, Phoenix, Cleveland, Denver, and Memphis markets.

“Through these centers, Walgreens customers can learn more about Medicare, meet with service advocates to discuss their UnitedHealthcare plan benefits and even enroll in plans,” the 2 companies said. In addition, UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage members can make an appointment for an in-store annual wellness visit at the Medicare services center in Walgreens through UnitedHealthcare’s HouseCalls program.

The 2 companies are also collaborating on the new AARP® Medicare Advantage Walgreens plans from UnitedHealthcare to “deliver lower prescription drug costs and convenient access to medications,” the 2 companies said.

Many of the plans will feature $0 premiums and $0 co-pays on primary care visits, preventive care, and many common generic drugs.

While Walgreens is the plan’s preferred retail pharmacy, AARP Medicare Advantage Walgreens members are not limited to using Walgreens, according to the statement. Customers can continue to fill prescriptions at most retail pharmacies or through mail-order from OptumRx.

References:

UnitedHealthcare to Open Member Medicare Services Centers in Select Walgreens Stores [news release]. Walgreens’ website. https://news.walgreens.com/press-releases/unitedhealthcare-to-open-member-medicare-services-centers-in-select-walgreens-stores.htm.