Oct. 9, 2019
Walmart’s Sam’s Club is partnering with several health-care companies to offer discounts on routine care that customers might delay or skip because of the cost, including discounted vision exams and optical products, according to reporting by Anne D’Innocenzio and Tom Murphy for the Associated Press.
Sam’s Club members in Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina will be able to buy bundles of health-care services that include discounted dental care, free prescriptions for certain generic medications and telehealth consultations.
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Fees range from $50 for individuals to $240 for up to six family members. The pilot program could potentially expand to all states, says Lori Flees, senior vice-president of Sam’s Club Health and Wellness.
Each bundle offers savings on dental services with a network of providers through the health insurer Humana, as well as unlimited telehealth for $1 per visit through a Seattle-based company called 98point6. The bundles also offer discounted vision exams and optical products. The number of free generic prescriptions ranges from five to 20 of the most popular medications, depending on what the member chooses.
The telehealth program will enable patients to be diagnosed and treated without talking to or seeing the doctor. Patients who click on the 98point6 app first tell their symptoms to a chatbot or automated assistant that uses artificial intelligence. The information then gets passed along to a doctor for diagnosis and treatment, often just through secure messaging.