Healthcare is becoming more and more consumer driven, and one company that has taken that trend very seriously is UnitedHealth Group, the insurance behemoth based in Minnetonka, Minnesota.
Late last week, the company announced that it was opening 10 Medicare retail stores across the country and planned to open 20 additional stores in the weeks leading up to the open enrollment period.
In a news release, the company noted that the “stores’ opening during National Medicare Education Week marks the latest evolution of the company’s consumer-centric retail strategy and follows the company’s success with its first store designed specifically for Medicare beneficiaries, which opened in Kingsport, Tennessee last year.”
The strategy likely also is fed by an undeniable fact: Millions of baby boomers are set to become Medicare-eligible over the next decade. Just in Arizona alone, 57,000 became eligible to receive Medicare benefits last year and that number will jump to 74,000 this year.Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius informed the audience at a town hall event in June that 11,000 seniors nationwide become Medicare-eligible every day.
Accessing those seniors in a retail environment that fit into their everyday lives — inside malls and shopping centers — is how UnitedHealth wants to increase its visibility, keep them informed and score new members. But aside from Medicare education, the stores will also provide information on health and wellness in the coming months.
Aside from full-fledged retail stories, UnitedHealth is also creating 1,400 kiosks manned by a UnitedHealthcare employee in retail locations across the country.
[Photo Credit: Big Stock Photo Service]