Soon, you may be able to pick up cotton balls, nail polish, chips and health insurance in the same shopping trip as Walgreens, the country’s largest drugstore chain, plans to start selling coverage plans in its retail locations.
CNN Money reports that sources close the Illinois-based company have spilled the tea about the upcoming insurance push, while an official spokesperson refused to confirm or deny: “As always, we’re looking at a number of options in light of health care reform as we continue to seek ways to help our customers better navigate today’s health care system,” he said.
The new health care laws require that federal and state-funded public health insurance that offer subsidized insurance exchanged for the uninsured and under-insured are available by 2014. It is expected that many companies outside of the insurance field will be getting into the health insurance exchange business prior to that deadline. Retailers will likely make up a sizable amount of that group cashing in on the billion dollar opportunity and may sway consumers away from the public programs.
Walgreens is said to be planning to offer insurance products on their website, via a call center or in store; customers will be able to select from a variety of plans from a “private label” and from national insurers.
Don’t be mad if you see me walking into Walgreens with a big old purse trying to boost some insurance, mmkay? It probably won’t work though; if they keep the deodorant and body wash in a locked case in the hood, I reckon they’ll be locking up the insurance too.