UnitedHealthcare partners with Walgreens to open in-store Medicare service centers

UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurance provider, has teamed up with Walgreens to provide Medicare services centers within 14 Walgreens stores across five metropolitan areas. The two companies are also collaborating on new AARP MA plans for prescription drug coverage.

The multi-year agreement covers locations in the Las Vegas, Phoenix, Cleveland, Denver and Memphis markets, the companies announced Nov. 25. The Medicare services centers will start to open in January 2020 across these markets.

“We are expanding access to UnitedHealthcare Medicare resources to better serve our members, providing them with all the valuable benefits they have come to expect from their UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans plus delivering the customer service and information they desire locally within Walgreens,” Mike Anderson, CEO of the Medicare Part D business at UnitedHealthcare, said in the announcement.

Walgreens customers can learn more about Medicare at the centers, as well as meet with “service advocates” to enroll in UnitedHealthcare plans and learn about benefits. Individuals who are members in UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage can get an appointment for an in-store annual wellness visit at once of the centers through the insurer’s HouseCalls program. UnitedHealthcare is one of the nation’s largest MA plan providers.

“Walgreens collaboration with UnitedHealthcare helps people navigate their healthcare options and provides convenient access to affordable care,” Rick Gates, senior vice president, pharmacy and healthcare at Walgreens, said in the announcement. “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.”

In addition to the Medicare services centers, the two companies are collaborating on the new AARP MA Walgreens plans from UnitedHealthcare, which offer prescription drug coverage through Walgreens, the plan’s preferred pharmacy. However, plan members of AARP Medicare Advantage Walgreens can fill prescriptions at other pharmacies or through mail-order from OptumRx, a subsidiary of UnitedHealthcare. There will be 46 available across 24 states for Medicare eligible residents, who can enroll during for the 2020 plan year during the open enrollment period.