CVS’s latest moves to expand primary care & insurance offerings

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CVS is shifting further away from only providing pharmacy services as they increasingly expand their primary care offerings. Among the changes they’ll be making include breaking new ground with their subsidiary health insurance company, Aetna. Starting in 2023, Aetna will join the California ACA individual insurance exchange marketplace in certain locales, according to a press release.

The move offers an opportunity to expand the number of individuals who use Aetna insurance. Some 34 million people are currently insured through Aetna plans.

Aetna users have access to traditional medical care, including outpatient services, emergency care, and prescription medications, as well as virtual care and walk-in appointments through CVS’s Minute Clinics.

“We’re ensuring more Californians and Americans can get access to Aetna’s quality care,” says Aetna California Market President Jess Hermosillo in the press release. “We are uniquely positioned to work with the member to achieve better outcomes, across health plans, MinuteClinic, CVS HealthHUB, CVS Pharmacy or any of our virtual care options.”

As Aetna ventures into ACA marketplaces, CVS will at the same time be getting into the primary care game. Fierce Healthcare reports that the company is looking to buy or invest in a primary care provider. The move represents CVS’s intention to expand into the primary care and home health services industry, though it’s not entirely clear yet what that expansion will look like. CVS was outbid by Amazon earlier this year in their effort to acquire One Medical, a primary care company. Now, The Wall Street Journal suggests that CVS might be looking to acquire Signify Health, a home healthcare services company.

CVS is far from the only company trying to get into primary care. Walgreens, Walmart, and Amazon have all made efforts in the past year to offer more medical services to customers, Fierce Healthcare notes.

Related: Court sides with Aetna in lawsuits over prescription drug coverage