If you’ve ever tried to purchase a private health insurance plan, you’re probably familiar with the hoops you have to jump through in order to become insured. Between the litany of questions and the endless scrutiny of your medical records, buying an insurance plan can be extremely overwhelming.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, Walgreen Co., is planning to start selling health insurance to customers this fall. The Tribune reported that “the Deerfield-based company will sell health insurance products with different price ranges and coverage levels from coast-to-coast through a private health insurance exchange.”
An unidentified spokesman from Walgreens said, “As always, we’re looking at a number of options in light of health care reform as we continue to seek ways to help our customers better navigate today’s health care system.”
Health reform, which mandates the creation of federal and state-funded public health insurance exchanges by 2014, will offer subsidized insurance for uninsured and under insured Americans.
For the millions of Americans that are uninsured or under insured, private exchanges could be a solution for obtaining the health care coverage they so desperately need.
Walgreens is the number one seller of pharmacy and health products, as well as flu shots, vaccinations and offer 350 nationwide “take care clinics,” staffed with nurse practitioners to treat minor ailments such seasonal allergies, ear infections and gastrointestinal discomfort.
While people appreciate the services that the take-care clinics offer, some are wary of the emerging health care options.
“I sought treatment at a Walgreens clinic at a time when I didn’t have insurance,” said Angie Trigilio, a Chicago graphic designer. “Though I was satisfied with the service, I don’t know that I would purchase a health insurance plan from Walgreens. I like the comfort and credibility that a public insurance provider offers.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, selling health insurance is a next step in Walgreens’ journey toward becoming a “one-stop shop” for all health care needs.
How do you feel about purchasing private insurance? Will you consider purchasing a private health insurance plan for yourself or your family?