Partnerships / Acquisitions

Humana Eyes Expanding Retail Options With Walmart

Walmart

It looks like Humana’s partnership with the Walgreens Boots Alliance will not prevent it from expanding its relationship with Walmart.

Humana announced it plans to potentially expand its tie-in with Walmart during its Q2 earnings call. The insurance giant saw its shares rise around 4 percent following Chief Executive Bruce Broussard’s comments on the call, discussing the company’s better-than-expected earnings.

“We still value and have a strong relationship with Walmart,” Broussard said, adding that the insurer is looking at ways to expand the partnership.

Walmart currently runs a co-branded Medicare drug plan with Humana that pushes patients toward Walmart locations and can save customers up to 20 percent on drug costs. The fate of advancing that partnership came into question back in January, when Humana announced a planned partnership with Walgreens. The deal would see the insurer operate senior-focused primary care clinics inside two Walgreens stores in Kansas.

“Both of [the deals] are complementary,” Broussard said, adding that partnering with one does not restrict the other.

There had been some speculation, however, that Walmart might try to purchase Humana outright in early 2018.

UnitedHealth Group, the largest U.S. health insurer, reported a profit in Q2, though one that had a shadow cast across it by rising medical costs. Excluding items, Humana earned $3.96 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of $3.77. Revenue rose 5.4 percent to $14.26 billion, beating the average estimate of $14.16 billion.

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