Walmart planning to expand health clinics into Florida

Walmart Health will expand its low-cost clinics into Florida next year, the retail giant announced Wednesday.

Though Walmart didn't offer details on specific locations, it's planning to focus in the Jacksonville area initially, Sean Slovenski, senior vice president of health and wellness at Walmart, wrote in a blog post.

Slovenski wrote that Florida is the state with the second-largest number of Walmart stores, opening the door for the clinics to reach a large number of potential customers.

"The combined crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic recession and subsequent loss of health insurance for millions of Americans have reinforced the vulnerabilities of our healthcare system. At Walmart, we understand that this means our customers need us now, more than ever," Slovenski wrote. "We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are committed to helping our customers save money while living better—and healthier."

RELATED: An inside look at Walmart's new health clinic

Walmart's clinics charge patients a flat fee for services regardless of insurance status. It currently operates sites in Georgia and Arkansas, with plans to expand into Illinois as well.

For instance, a primary care visit costs $40, and dental checkup and cleaning costs $50. The clinics offer a slew of on-site services including lab testing, behavioral health, wellness and eye care.

The clinics operate next to existing Walmart retail stores, which is integrated into the patient's experience as well. Diabetic patients attending a nutrition class will be taking on a personalized shopping tour of the grocery department as part of the experience, for example.

The clinics are just one of Walmart's forays into the healthcare market that aim to significantly disrupt the industry. Last year, the retailer released a slew of benefit changes for its associates that aim to steer workers toward high-quality providers and lower costs.

It also earlier this month quietly posted job listings for a new insurance agency it plans to launch this year, with a focus on Medicare. Walmart's Sam's Club subsidiary also teamed with Humana in 2019 to offer a program to members with high-deductible plans to ease their healthcare costs.