retail news in context, analysis with attitude

CNN reports that drugstore chain Walgreen plans to begin selling health insurance, beginning this autumn.

The company does not confirm or deny the story, but CNN says that Walgreen “will sell health insurance products with different price ranges and coverage levels from coast-to-coast through a private health insurance exchange ... By partnering with some of the nation's largest health insurers, selling health insurance is a natural next step in Walgreens' evolution into becoming a one-stop shop for all health care needs.

“Consumers will be able to shop for a mix of insurance products online, through call centers or in-store. Some will be branded by national insurers and others will be ‘private label’ insurance products sold through Walgreens' insurance exchange.”

According to the story, “Health reform mandates the creation of federal and state funded public health insurance exchanges by 2014 that will offer subsidized insurance for uninsured and underinsured people.

“A rush of companies, many not usually associated with health insurance, are also expected to jump into the nascent but lucrative market for health insurance exchanges -- estimated to be worth billions of dollars -- ahead of 2014.

“Retailers, financial services providers and a large payroll processor are among firms that are actively looking into starting private health insurance exchanges that are separate from public exchanges, industry watchers said.”
KC's View:
In this environment, everybody is looking for smart adjacencies, looking for the places where there are needs and opportunities. If you’re not, you’re treading water ... and the sharks are approaching.