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Walmart Adds Health to Insurance Push

The retailer has expanded its agency relationship to include health insurance quotes.

Walmart, the retail giant that partnered with AutoInsurance.com earlier this year to provide auto quotes in its stores, is expanding the initiative to include health insurance as well. The company is working with DirectHealth.com, owned by the same parent company as AutoInsurance.com, to launch Healthcare Begins Here, an in-store program designed to educate customers on health insurance options.

While being a broker itself, DirectHealth also manages relationships with insurance agents. Customers can compare coverage options from Medicare or public healthcare exchanges through online, phone, and in-store services. As many as 2,700 Walmart stores will be staffed by independent, licensed health insurance agents from DirectHealth.com who can help customers enroll.

"Our customers have told us that there is too much complexity when it comes to understanding their health insurance options," said Labeed Diab, SVP and president, health and wellness, Walmart US, in a statement.

The company that owns DirectHealth.com and AutoInsurance.com, Tranzutary Insurance, is a subsidiary of Tranzact. Walmart's inroads into insurance began in 2012 with a partnership with MetLife. Other retailers have also taken on insurance distribution in the interceding years, including Overstock.com.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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