UnitedHealthcare to open Medicare service centers in Walgreens stores 

UnitedHealthcare will open Medicare service centers in Walgreens stores in five markets beginning in January, the insurer announced Monday. 

The first of a planned 14 centers will open in January, targeting the Las Vegas, Phoenix, Cleveland, Denver and Memphis markets. At these centers, Medicare beneficiaries can learn more about the program, enroll in a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan and delve into their individual benefits. 

UnitedHealthcare MA members can also schedule annual wellness visits at the centers through the insurer’s House Calls program. 

“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,” said Mike Anderson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Part D business, in a statement. 

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The new centers are the next step in UnitedHealthcare’s ongoing work with Walgreens. The insurer and pharmacy chain teamed up to launch Medicare Advantage plans for 2020, for example, combining their expertise. 

The plans promise low-cost prescription drug coverage with Walgreens as the preferred pharmacy. Many of the plans will offer $0 premiums and $0 copays for primary care visits, preventive care services and a number of generic medications. 

MA beneficiaries who enroll in these co-branded plans will not be restricted to Walgreens as a pharmacy option but will receive extra benefits for visiting Walgreens, UnitedHealthcare said, such as lower copays, enhanced in-store discounts and digital tools provided by the pharmacy chain. 

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