UnitedHealth, Walmart halt shared Medicare Advantage plan 

A co-branded Medicare Advantage plan offered by UnitedHealthcare and Walmart will come to an end amid the retailer's decision to close ​​its health centers and end virtual care services, Becker's confirmed April 30.

"Value-based care remains a priority for us to achieve our mission and to improve affordability and outcomes for consumers," a UnitedHealth Group spokesperson said. "We value Walmart as a partner and are exploring new ways to collaborate. Together, we are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for patients."

Walmart said April 30 it will close its 51 health centers across five states due to the "challenging reimbursement environment" and rising operating costs, which have resulted in a lack of profitability.

A planned 10-year collaboration between UnitedHealth and Walmart began in 2023 at 15 clinics in Florida and Georgia, which were enabled by Optum's analytics and decision support tools. A co-branded Medicare Advantage plan, "UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Walmart Flex," was offered in Georgia. 

At the time, UnitedHealth said it had plans to eventually expand the partnership to additional markets and include coverage for commercial and Medicaid plans.

News of the Walmart clinic closures comes after Optum Virtual Care confirmed its plans to close as part of the company's continued review of services and capabilities.

Walmart Health also recently inked partnerships with Orlando Health and Centene's Ambetter from Sunshine Health, the payer's ACA subsidiary in Florida. Orlando Health had no comment on the closures.

Becker's has reached out to Centene for comment and will update this story if more information becomes available. 

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