Shopping for Health Plans at Wal Mart

From now through early December, shoppers at 2,700 Wal-Mart stores across the country can step up to a counter and speak with a licensed agent about health plan options. Targeted at those in the market for a Medicare plan as well as customers interested in the public exchange, the service overlaps with the enrollment periods for those two programs. Wal-Mart is partnering with, an online insurance comparison site. DirectHealth agents will provide information on thousands of plans offered by hundreds of carriers, and will receive a commission if an in-store customer enrolls in a plan. For employers located near a Wal-Mart offering the service, called “Healthcare Begins Here”, it’s another possible source of health plan information and guidance for non-benefit-eligible employees and retirees. Of course, your eligible employees also might decide to “shop” for health insurance to see what else is available – which will likely help them appreciate the value of their employer-sponsored plan!

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Beth Umland
by Beth Umland

Director of Research, Health, Mercer

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