Wow. Yuge. It’s fascinating to see some of the mega-corps cross into different industries.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart is in the early stages of talks to buy Humana, one of the nation’s five largest health insurers.
Humana currently has a market value of around $37 billion. The company has around 14 million subscribers and its net revenues last year were $53.7 billion.
If it happens, this would be a dramatic acquisition. It’s hard to speculate precisely what impact this might have on the health insurance market. Worth remembering: Among many other things, Walmart has one of the nation’s largest chains of pharmacies. It has more than 3,600 pharmacies at its stores and employs more than 6,000 pharmacists (only Walgreens and CVS employ more pharmacists; only those two along with Rite Aid have more pharmacies).
Walmart also offers low-cost care clinics at some locations.
It does appear that some of the remaining large retailers are looking for additional offerings to maintain the relevance of their store fronts. Health care is something that people will go to a “store” for the foreseeable future. The retailization of healthcare delivery and the melding of healthcare insurance with a healthcare delivery organization will have a dramatic impact on the American healthcare system.