It's being called "America's Biggest Health Fair" and it's happening at 4,400 Walmart locations on the afternoon of Oct. 10. Walmart will provide free blood glucose and blood pressure tests and vision screenings and offer product samples to all who attend. And the company expects to see record-breaking numbers during the single-day event.
More than 10,000 of Walmart’s pharmacists will also offer immunizations in select stores.
In all, the company anticipates hundreds of thousands of screenings and immunizations, and expects to uncover as many as 3,000 cases of diabetes over the course of the day, as well as 7,000 incidences of high blood pressure.
“Customer behavior is changing,” says Michelle Gloeckler, EVP consumables and health and wellness divisions and U.S. manufacturing lead for Walmart U.S. “Customers are taking an active role in their personal health, researching things online and overall, watching for ways to live better.”
In addition to screenings and immunizations, Walmart will have Jackson Hewitt licensed insurers on hand at some 250 locations to help customers identify the best insurance plans for them, whether they are shopping for a plan in a Health Exchange or looking for their best Medicare option.
Walmart last year teamed up with DirectHealth.com to launch Healthcare Begins Here, an in-store program designed to educate customers on health insurance options. DirectHealth.com, an online health insurance comparison site, which is an independent licensed health insurance agency, will provide a resource that brings Walmart customers access to health insurance information and enrollment support. Healthcare Begins Here will be available Oct. 15, 2015, through Jan. 31, 2016, in more than 2,400 Walmart stores, online and via phone.
“What we're seeing is enormous payer interest and support around [health insurance education],” says Marcus Osborne, VP third party contracting at Walmart. “Consumers who aren't happy with their health plan selection because they didn't have all the information up front is bad for the health plans and their brands. Consumers who are better informed about their health ... that puts them in a better position to better leverage their health plan to improve their health. We have gotten enormous support from the health plans and [this] will improve our ability to partner with them in the future.”