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Walmart-Anthem deal a step forward in redesigning healthcare

After having developed its medical business successfully, Walmart (WMT) is exploring ways to come up with healthcare offerings that would benefit all sections of society. On the heels of closing the acquisition of India’s Flipkart and expanding its Asian footprint, the retailer this week forged a partnership with health insurer Anthem Inc. (ANTM) with a special focus on senior citizens.

Walmart’s recent partnerships in the healthcare industry complement its efforts to revamp the sector by making the services more affordable and accessible. The company is already having a co-branded Medicare drug program with Humana, another leading healthcare insurer, and is currently in talks with the latter to broaden the partnership.

Under the latest partnership, customers who are enrolled in Anthem’s Medical Advantage plans will be able to purchase select over-the-counter medicines and other products from Walmart using their insurance policy and avail in-store discounts.

The company is already having a co-branded Medicare drug program with Humana

The medicines covered under the program include first aid supplies and pain relievers. Through the partnership, Walmart expects to attract more shoppers to stores and add momentum to its emerging online business, while helping customers purchase medicines at lower prices.

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The new facility will be particularly beneficial to seniors living on fixed income and those suffering from chronic health conditions. It can be accessed online, over the phone or by visiting the neighborhood Walmart store.

Meanwhile, it is not known whether the company will observe wellness days and roll out any exclusive supplies as part of the deal, which are the highlights of its healthcare plan with Humana.

A few days ago, Walmart closed the acquisition a majority stake in India-based e-commerce platform Flipkart Group for $16 billion. Operations in the region will continue to be managed by the present management of Flipkart.

In recent months, the market witnessed an array of partnerships involving healthcare firms and retailers – Amazon’s (AMZN) purchase of pharmacy operator PillPack and the acquisition of health technology firm GreatCall by Best Buy (BBY).

Last week, Walmart shares ended a long spell of inertia since the beginning of the year and made a single-day gain of about 9% after the company reported impressive earnings results for the second quarter. The stock, which has remained steady since then, traded slightly lower in the early trading hours Monday.

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Walmart second quarter 2019 earnings

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