Humana said it is planning “an innovative new collaboration” that will make it “the first healthcare company to offer its members drive-through [COVID-19] testing at hundreds of Walmart Neighborhood Market drive-through pharmacy locations across the country.”
Walmart's Neighborhood Markets are its smaller stores. The partnership also includes Quest Diagnostics.
In a press release on Tuesday (June 30), the health insurer also announced a pilot home-testing program for those it covers. The company said this will make it “the first insurer to offer LabCorp’s at-home test collection kits.”
Humana said it will continue to waive costs related to COVID-19 diagnostic tests to people it insures.
“Our members continue to be worried about COVID-19 — including the anxiety about possibly having it and not knowing it,” said Mona Siddiqui, Humana's senior vice president of clinical strategy and quality. “We want to help alleviate that stress. This is an additional step we can take to help address their concerns – whether testing from the safety of their own home or using the drive-through option.”
Looking to CDC guidelines, Humana developed a web-based coronavirus risk-assessment tool. Those who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection, or those without symptoms who may have been exposed to the virus, can qualify for testing. Those covered by Humana will have the option to request an in-home test or drive-through testing.
The company said it wants to “meet members where they are, and ensure that they have a wide range of options and choices for COVID-19 diagnostic testing.”
Humana’s arrangement with Walmart comes at a time when cases of COVID-19 are surging in many states. Bloomberg reports that there have been hours-long waiting times for tests in new hot spots, such as Houston.
The move by Humana to work with Walmart comes as consumers are looking to pharmacies for convenience. This spring, Walgreens and Postmates added 13 more cities to their on-demand delivery setup, including San Francisco, Chicago, Charlotte, North Carolina and Phoenix. The arrangement covers health and wellness products, but also “convenience items.”