Walmart and Clover Health team up to offer Medicare Advantage plans

Insurer Clover Health has partnered with Walmart to offer a series of Medicare Advantage plans aimed at low-income, Medicare-eligible beneficiaries in Georgia.

This will be the first foray for Walmart into the health plan space, though the retail giant does have a co-branded Medicare Part D plan with Humana. It has also launched a series of health clinics.

Walmart pointed to the insurer’s Clover Assistant, which employs machine learning to offer care recommendations and other guidance to primary care physicians, to help sell its Live Healthy plans to half a million Medicare customers in eight Georgia counties starting in 2021. 

“Providers in Walmart Health will use Clover's data-driven technology, Clover Assistant, to help support the healthcare journey of Live Healthy members as they live better, healthier lives,” said Marcus Osborne, senior vice president of Walmart U.S. Health & Wellness, in a statement.

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The Live Healthy PPO plan would offer a zero-dollar premium and include primary care visits, lab tests and other services.

Walmart is looking to expand aggressively into healthcare. The retailer has opened seven health clinics, with six in Georgia and another in Arkansas. Earlier this year, Walmart quietly launched an in-house insurance agency in the Dallas-Forth Worth market, which will focus on Medicare to start.

The announcement also marks the latest expansion effort by Clover Health. The startup announced back in July that it plans to triple its geographic footprint after an increase in enrollment. The insurer hopes to add 74 additional counties to the 34 counties it already serves.

Customers can select the plans when Medicare's open enrollment starts Oct. 15. Open enrollment last year for Medicare saw the insurer’s membership grow by 37%.