Wal-Mart mulls health coverage for small businesses
The retail giant isn't committing yet. Wal-Mart has a big investment in its pharmacies but has been cautious on where it takes the business.
Just last week, there was talk the company might offer health insurance coverage to small businesses, a group that has trouble buying coverage at reasonable rates.
Sounds like the company might be thinking about organizing a health-care exchange targeting small businesses.
Maybe not. A company spokeswoman told Bloomberg Businessweek the company was evaluating the idea. But, she added, "Wal-Mart does not currently have plans for a private health insurance exchange."
Next, the Orlando Business Journal's Abraham Aboraya, who started all this speculation, quoted a Wal-Mart executive as saying it will open primary care clinics in five to seven years. But, no, maybe not. Later, the company told Aboraya that there was no big plan for primary care.
So it's all very confusing. The larger trend is, however, that small-business health insurance exchanges are starting to get organized. It may be that a Wal-Mart or a Costco Wholesale (COST) may be involved, as opposed to exchanges set up by states, because they have the expertise on negotiating plans covering many thousands of people, particularly Costco.
At the same time, big retail chains, like Wal-Mart, Costco and Target (TGT) which already have large pharmacy operations and offer flu shots and the like, are looking to make their stores one-stop destinations for everything, including outpatient clinics.
They're following the lead of CVS Caremark's (CVS) MinuteClinics and Walgreen's (WAG) Take Care clinics, which have opened in some 800 locations.
The goal of the clinics is not just to provide service. Clinics bring customers into stores and may generate other sales in addition to an immunization or, say, a flu shot, says Patricia Edwards, chief investment officer of Trutina Financial in Bellevue, Wa. Plus they offer the customer quick service and reasonable cost, especially to those without health insurance.
Wal-Mart's health-and-wellness business segment, which includes pharmacy services and over-the-counter drugs, accounted for 11% of the company's $264.2 billion in U.S. sales in the 2012 fiscal year. The fiscal year ends on Jan. 31.
It has dabbled in primary-care clinics, prompted by a pledge from former CEO Lee Scott to open as many as 2,000 clinics by 2012. The total, however, is less than 150 today, in part because, as The Wall Street Journal noted last summer, its original strategy of simply leasing space in a store to a clinic operator didn't work.
A big issue is what the clinics were for. Wal-Mart wanted them to offer simple care. The operators were often large hospital chains that saw the clinics as a means to pull patients into their facilities, The Journal said.
More on Money Now
- CBS wins big from Super 'Bro Bowl'
- More grown children finally leaving the nest
- Chipotle hints at a price increase
Responding to all you people that responded to me. I know that you liberals think that this government cares about you and your well-being talking about the wolves leading the sheep to the slaughter just like the Nazis didn't Germany in 1938. That's what this reminds me of accept today we can build a lot bigger microwave than they could back then it could seat a couple thousand at a time so you liberal Democrats you think socialism, sounds good will come back and tell me that after someone you love very much passes away because this new healthcare system in the people running it down near Washington DC says on sorry Mr. so-and-so or Mrs. so-and-so, but your grandmother or your grandfather or for God's sakes one of your children need a very expensive drug in order for them to survive in these 15 people down near Washington DC says I'm sorry your situation doesn't fit our criteria. Then come back and tell me how you feel, then? I'll leave that that have a nice day.
That why it committed itself to hiring discharged veterans they will get around it . the vets would already have coverage ,avoid extra expenses for preexisting conditions they would be covered by the VA
So in hine sight the out veterans would be committed to selling communist manufactured merchandise
Even if you dont agree with their methods, Walmart has done more to keep inflation low than anyone else. Cutting costs out of the supply chain is their core competency. We could only be so lucky if they could bring some sanity to costs in the healthcare industry.
If W/M started offering health care plans, W/M would then have to offer health care to it's employees thus cutting into it's shareholder profit margins.W/M is not realy to blame here for it's abismal treatment of it's part time staff and ,the Company only does what it legaly is alowed to do by current State labor laws, if you look how W/M staff are treated in Germany (Europe) it is a complete 180 from how they are treated in the USA with health care, paid sick days, paid vacation and other benefits, all mandated by German labor laws and W/M has to comply and they still manage to make a profit. Current Labor laws in the USA are Dickinson by comparison and it is the nature of major retail, food service and manufacturing business, especially those without any union involvement, to not do the right thing to play and pay fairly but use the labor laws to their own maximum advantage by paying minimum wages, giving minimum breaks and working all the small print to their benefit and not to benefit the worker as was the original intention when there were no set working hours before breaks or any breaks at all, or minimum working hours for a work week. These laws were fine when they were first instituted but they have been ignored and left unread for so long as to be almost meaningless to employees although they're posted in every (or should be by law) staff room and now these labor laws work against them. It's these current labor laws that allow W/M and other workers to be treated like they are worthless disposable items rather then people trying toearn enough money to just to get by, let alone even make a living. I am far from being a socialist. I believe in capitalism, but money is like manure, it's only good if it's spread it around...... greed is greed and greed is killing capitalism in this country.The more people with real money to spend ( not credit) the better off the people will be. Then we won't have to go to W/M for health care or worry about the Banks and Wall st gambling our pensions and the economy away
Yes I agree Walmart really needs to worry about their own employees health care than worrying about doing anything else..maybe if their employees health care was a litte better then than should go out help the other "little man"..
Everytime I read complaints about Walmart having unfair wages and not providing insurance for their employees and such all I can do is shake my head. I work for a very popular retail store which is in the fortune 500 and guess what- Walmart employees as a whole are actually paid more then the average salary my company pays. We have the option of opting in to sub-standard health/dental care plans at a cost that sometimes exceeds our paychecks due to the lack of work hours given (and do read the fine lines of the health/dental care coverage you are actually offered to opt in to as you will find most likely at the time you need the services the most that alot of basic services are not even covered under the plans you are paying for out-of-pocket/paycheck).That being said, I don't understand why people are constantly pointing the fingers at Walmart while knowing from experience that there are other well known and respected companies that do not pay their employees past the minimum wage standard either.
...and if it's the goods from China being sold at Walmart that seem to be offending people - spend a day shopping at different stores and see how many items you can buy anywhere that are American made- I found zero in 2 hours worth of time shuffling through everything from socks to coats to pajamas in several different stores. It won't take any time at all once you start opening your eyes to realize that products from even well-established and trusted companies such as Hanes or Levis are no longer made in the good old USA. Wake up people- until we start finding solutions to bring our businesses and jobs back to America there will be nothing made in the USA- this is not just a problem centering around Walmart.....it's everywhere.
Every business/company that moves their manufacturing to another country tears this country down and the fabric that made us once so great down bit by bit until one day we will be one of the third world countries dependant on every other country for everything from the fuel we need for heat and transportation, to the clothing/shoes we wear, to the food we eat and the only people that will be standing tall will be the greedy corporate/ 1% that turned their backs on the very country that made them what they are...and also what they are becomming.
I DIDN'T FINISH HIGH SCHOOL AND WALMART IS THE ONLY PLACE I COULD FIND A JOB.
I DON'T MAKE AS MUCH MONEY AS A DOCTOR SO WALMART MUST BE SCREWING ME!
I ONLY SHOP THERE BECAUSE I CANT AFFORD TO SHOP ANYWHERE ELSE.
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Sales of collectible automobiles hit an all-time record this year, leading some to speculate that soaring prices could lead to a huge deal.
- Bah, humbug! New Christmas tree tax proposed
- Should you get a store credit card?
- The best credit cards of 2013
- Can a new chief exec keep GM on course?
- 'Tips for Jesus' big spender unmasked?
- Chinese investors are buying up Detroit
- Mega Millions jackpot hits $344 million
- 5 reasons to think twice about a balance transfer card
- Will I have to pay taxes because of a foreclosed home?
[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices settled on their lows following a steady, session-long slide. Similar to yesterday, small-caps paced the retreat as the Russell 2000 fell 1.6%, extending its December loss to 3.6%. The S&P 500 settled lower by 1.1%, widening its month-to-date decline to 1.3%.
There was no specific news catalyst behind today's slide, which had the markings of broad-based profit-taking. Seven of ten sectors settled with losses of 1.0% or more while only two groups ... More
More Market News
The offering could become the second-biggest this year if underwriters exercise an option to buy more shares.