Walmart Will Test Programs to Cut Healthcare Costs for US Workers
Walmart announced today that it will be testing different healthcare pilot programs for its U.S. employees starting Jan. 1, according to CNBC. Healthcare is one of the largest expenses for the retailer after wages, so it's looking for ways to cut costs. A pilot program launched in Arkansas, Florida, and Texas will connect patients with local doctors, helping Walmart's 1.4 million workforce from relying on word-of-mouth or social media to find healthcare.
In North Carolina and South Carolina, Walmart will test a service to address issues with billing, fix appointments and more, and in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, the retailer will expand a program that allows employees to video chat with a physician from home for $4 per chat.
Nationwide, Walmart will offer workers access to fitness clubs for $9 per biweekly pay period and add a co-pay of $35 for every visit to a primary care physician, CNBC reported.
Total Retail's Take: This isn't the only health-related initiative Walmart is focusing on. In August, the retailer announced it was opening a new in-store health clinic in Dallas, Georgia called Walmart Health. In addition to the in-store clinic, Walmart launched a website for the new clinic, Walmarthealth.com, where patients can make appointments for immunizations, optometry and more. Furthermore, Walmart is offering healthcare degrees in its education program in an effort to fill critical roles in its retail pharmacies. Clearly Walmart is looking to extend its reach into the healthcare space in more ways than one.