For over ten years now, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has been making not so subtle advances into the field of healthcare. USA’s largest retailer has now decided to play a better role in the industry. This involves acquiring the for-profit American health insurance company, Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM). Walmart is not the only e-commerce giant making forays into the healthcare industry. Amazon too is making significant strides in this department.
As of now Walmart and Humana are talking about ways to make their current partnership even more stronger. There has been news and discussions on the matter of Walmart acquiring Human, but since these talks are still at an early stage whether such a situation will happen or not is still largely speculated.
If an acquisition does happen in the near future, Walmart would be incurring some significant acquisition costs. Simply put, the acquisition would not come cheap especially since as of last week, Humana has been valued at $37 billion.
In 2015, Aetna Inc., another healthcare company had made a failed attempt to acquire Human that left them short of $54 billion.
Preliminary discussions between Walmart and Human have explored the possibility of a merger in the near future. Health insurance analysts have said that Humana is quite a lucrative asset and will help Walmart expand it's revenue.
Together Walmart and Humana have released a Medicare prescription drug in an effort at co-branding.
Recent reports reveal that Humana may be trying to keep the relationship with Walmart to a minimum as of late.
In light of certain significant acquisitions such as CVS Heath's $69 billion acquisition of Aetna and the proposed $54 million merger of ExpressScripts, an American Fortune 100 company and Cigna, a health organization. there is a threat of Walmart's biggest rival, Amazon entering into the healthcare industry.
With all these mergers and acquisitions, the biggest benefit is that consumers can access a better, more efficient, and cheaper healthcare model.
Analysts are of the opinion that the Walmart-Human merger holds a lot of promise especially since Humana has it's own clinics and pharmacies that are designed to help their Medicare members.
In addition, Walmart has been actively promoting in-store, low cost clinics for its employees.
Walmart has a workforce of 1.5 million and the acquisition of a healthcare giant such as Humana could considerably bring down the healthcare costs of Walmart employees.
The potential models of such acquisitions has several long term benefits when it comes to healthcare.