Walgreens, UnitedHealthcare to open in-store Medicare service centers

David Salazar
Managing Editor
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UnitedHealthcare and Walgreens will be opening 14 UnitedHealthcare Medicare service centers within Walgreens stores in five metropolitan areas. The two companies have signed a multiyear agreement that will see the first Medicare services centers opening in January 2020. 

“We are expanding access to UnitedHealthcare Medicare resources to better serve our members, providing them with all the valuable benefits they have come to expect from their UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans plus delivering the customer service and information they desire locally within Walgreens,” said Mike Anderson, CEO of the Medicare Part D business at UnitedHealthcare.

The centers — which will be located in the Las Vegas, Phoenix, Cleveland, Denver and Memphis areas — are meant to allow Walgreens shoppers to learn more about Medicare, discuss their UnitedHealthcare plan benefits with “service advocates” and even enroll in plans. UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage members will be able to make an appointment for an in-store annual wellness visit at their local Medicare services center via the company’s HouseCalls program. 

“Walgreens collaboration with UnitedHealthcare helps people navigate their healthcare options and provides convenient access to affordable care,” said Rick Gates, senior vice president, pharmacy and healthcare at Walgreens. “Through strategic partnerships like this, Walgreens store locations can offer comprehensive services tailored to the specific needs of the communities we serve that are conveniently accessible alongside our pharmacy services.”

Walgreens and UnitedHealthcare also are working together on the new AARP Medicare Advantage Walgreens plans, which include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage with Walgreens as the plan’s preferred retail pharmacy. They will feature other benefits similar to other Medicare Advantage plans from UnitedHealthcare, including dental and vision coverage and a healthcare network, as well as access to the company’s Renew Active Medicare fitness program. 

The AARP Medicare Advantage Walgreens plans include 46 plans, and the companies noted that while members are not limited to only filling prescriptions at Walgreens, they will have lower drug co-pays and access to enhanced discounts through the Walgreens Balance Rewards program. The plans will be available in 24 states, the companies said.