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Shift To Obamacare Bronze Plans Helps CVS, Walgreens And Walmart Clinics

Shift To Obamacare Bronze Plans Helps CVS, Walgreens And Walmart Clinics

Retail clinics operated by CVS Health, Walmart ANd Walgreens Boots Alliance may see a slight upward trend in customers because of a shift by Americans into Obamacare’s higher deductible bronze plans, According to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the new analysis indicates.

After The Deduction of Cost Sharing Subsidies by Trump Administration under the Affordable Care Act helped low-income Americans to Find an Affordable Scheme, As a Result,  More Americans this year have shifted to less expensive bronze plans.

As Per Latest the Study, The share of Americans enrolled this year in bronze plans has Increase to From  23%  to 29% Enrollees

Shift To Obamacare Bronze Plans Helps CVS, Walgreens And Walmart Clinics

According To Forbes: 
“Among those new to the marketplace, the trend toward bronze was even greater—34 percent of new enrollees on chose bronze plans,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Kathy Hempstead wrote in a new report published Friday. “Yet this shift to bronze may have some unintended consequences for individuals and healthcare markets since cost-sharing differs significantly by metal."

Bronze plans carry a median deductible of $6,400, compared to $3,800 for silver plans and $1,250 for gold plans. That means more Americans are likely to think twice before a trip to the doctor's office, which costs more than $100 a visit out-of-pocket and is more expensive than a retail clinic.

“Another outcome could be higher use of retail clinics, where visit prices are lower, or greater use of cheaper cash market options if the prospect of meeting the deductible seems unrealistic,” Hempstead wrote.

Retail clinics staffed by nurse practitioners are increasingly offering more services and costs per visit range between $50 and $129 for those who pay out of pocket depending on the ailment or illness. CVS said the average retail clinic visit is $89 though charges can range from $99 to $129 for minor illnesses like pink eye or sinus infections while prices for physicals or screenings can be as low as $59, according to the CVS MinuteClinic price list.  

Increasingly, retail clinics are becoming more integrated into traditional health systems with Walgreens, Walmart and CVS forming partnerships with hospitals and health systems across the country.

CVS has said they plan to expand their services better coordinate retail services in future insurance options once the giant drugstore chain completes its acquisition of health insurer Aetna later this year. There's also been some speculation that closer ties between health insurer Humana and Walmart could offer special deals at Walmart clinics.

"MinuteClinic helps prevent the unnecessary use of higher-cost sites of care, such as emergency rooms, for routine care, helping to hold down overall costs of care," CVS spokeswoman Carolyn Castel said Friday. "A study in Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrated retail clinic care was equal in quality to other ambulatory settings and to emergency departments. The study also suggested that care delivered at MinuteClinic was 40 percent to 80 percent less expensive than alternative sites."

Subham Sahuwala

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