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UnitedHealthcare opening centers in Walgreens stores

Christopher Snowbeck, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Health & Fitness

UnitedHealthcare is launching new service centers for Medicare beneficiaries in more than a dozen Walgreens stores -- a second partnership in as many years between the pharmacy giant and Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group, which is parent company to United's large health insurance business.

Scheduled to open in January, the service centers will offer information about coverage options plus the chance to schedule an annual wellness visit within pharmacies in the Las Vegas, Phoenix, Cleveland, Denver and Memphis markets.

In late 2017, Walgreens announced a collaboration with Optum, the health care services business at UnitedHealth Group, to open urgent care centers in a limited number of pharmacies, including an outlet in the Twin Cities suburb Hilltop.

"We are expanding access to UnitedHealthcare Medicare resources to better serve our members, providing them ... the customer service and information they desire locally within Walgreens," said Mike Anderson, a UnitedHealthcare executive, in a statement.

UnitedHealthcare is the nation's largest health insurer. Optum is a separate division within UnitedHealth Group that includes clinics, pharmaceutical benefits management and health care consulting.

Walgreens is one the nation's largest retail pharmacy operators with more than 9,000 drugstores as of August that spanned all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

At the new service centers, seniors will be able to learn more about UnitedHealthcare plan options, the companies say, and enroll in private Medicare coverage that works in conjunction with the federal government's health insurance program. The centers also will provide information on UnitedHealthcare's options for Medicare Part D drug coverage, including new policies being sold in conjunction with Walgreens in 24 states.

 

Wellness visits will be provided by a UnitedHealthcare program called HouseCalls, which provides in-home visits to seniors enrolled in the company's Medicare Advantage health plans.

"Walgreens collaboration with UnitedHealthcare helps people navigate their health care options and provides convenient access to affordable care," said Rick Gates, a senior vice president at Walgreens, in a statement.

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