CREDIT: AP Images
Beginning October 1st — when Americans will start being able to sign up for policies sold through Obamacare’s statewide insurance marketplaces — Rite Aid will distribute educational literature about health care reform and host licensed insurance agents at over 2,000 locations throughout the country, according to The Hill. These agents will be available for one-on-one consultations with patients 12 hours per week at Rite Aid stores in most states, and may even help sign up uninsured customers for Medicaid coverage or an Obamacare marketplace policy right in the store.
Rite Aid spokespeople emphasized that although the agents would be paid commissions for selling policies, they would not be beholden to one specific insurance company, instead concentrating on finding policies that would make the most sense for individual customers.
The news comes on the heels of CVS and Walgreens pharmacies’ similar decisions to reach out to the public about Obamacare. In July, Walgreens joined with large insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield to launch an educational campaign about the health law and, like Rite Aid, will be distributing brochures about Obamacare through their stores.
Pharmacies have a vested interest in seeing the health law succeed since plans sold through Obamacare’s marketplaces must cover benefits such as prescription drug coverage. Many uninsured Americans cannot afford these medicines out-of-pocket and often resort to risky foreign online pharmacies that may sell tainted or counterfeit products.