Walmart to launch new healthcare benefits for employees

The programmes include subsidised gym memberships to $35 co-pay for doctor visits.

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Walmart is all set to offer easier access to better healthcare to its employees through a range of new health-care programmes. It will be tying up with a data-analytics company to help connect its employees with select local doctors in specific regions, and also expand its tele-health programme in other areas. It plans to offer ‘health-care concierges’, who will serve as a single point of contact for its employees in North Carolina and South Carolina.

That is not all. Walmart employees will also receive discounted gym memberships and a $35 co-pay for doctor visits in the most-used medical plan.

The Company believes that by giving people the right care, there will be huge savings in the long run.

Walmart will also be opening low-cost medical clinics for shoppers, which will offer subsidised degrees in health-related fields and launch some health-care initiatives for members of its Sam’s Club warehouse chain.

The programmes will only be tested in certain regions at first. By 2020, Walmart will also cover kidney transplants through its Centres of Excellence initiative, which was launched about six years back.

At a time when many US employers are dropping health coverage or workers themselves are choosing not to enrol, Walmart’s offer to add $35 co-pays for primary care visits will encourage workers to seek care earlier instead of waiting till the need becomes urgent.

Walmart will be offering ‘personal online doctors’ too to help its employees manage chronic conditions and also make specialty care available for workers in Colorado, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Workers in North and South Carolina, will receive a personalised health-care assistant who will take care of all their medical needs, answer billing queries and also explain diagnoses.

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