Walgreens, GoHealth partner on health insurance marketplace resource
DEERFIELD, Ill. — With an ongoing need for consumer education and awareness to help people understand their health insurance options under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Walgreens and Chicago-based GoHealth on Thursday announced a nationwide initiative and collaboration to assist customers and help provide a resource for those considering the new health insurance marketplaces.
Walgreens store personnel are directing individual customers who inquire to the GoHealth Marketplace, a resource where they can shop and compare health insurance plans, enroll and find other important tools and information. Consumers can access the GoHealth Marketplace online from www.walgreens.com/healthcarereform or via phone at (855) 487-6969.
Walgreens also is providing informational brochures and other materials in stores.
“As an accessible, community healthcare provider serving more than 6 million people each day, Walgreens can help connect those customers who may be considering new health insurance options with resources and information,” said Brad Fluegel, Walgreens SVP and chief strategy officer. “Our goal is to help ensure people fully understand the marketplace, and working with GoHealth to provide personalized consultation from experts who can help them make informed decisions.”
Customers receive one-on-one support from licensed GoHealth advisors who can help guide them through the selection and enrollment process (over the phone or online). The GoHealth Marketplace offers all plans available on the federal and state marketplaces and can assist individuals regardless of income level or subsidy eligibility.
“A partnership with Walgreens gives us an opportunity to reach a population that needs our help,” noted Clint Jones, CEO of GoHealth. “Educating and enabling consumers to enroll is core to our mission of helping individuals and families obtain the right health insurance coverage for their unique needs.”
According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 51% of Americans say they don’t understand how the Affordable Care Act will affect them or their family. Public confusion is especially prominent among the uninsured, as 62% say they don’t have enough information about the health law.
“We know people will have a lot of questions and many may feel overwhelmed,” Fluegel said. “This collaboration furthers our ongoing efforts to help those who may be entering the marketplace to be better prepared and make informed choices. GoHealth is an ideal partner for this program, and together we look forward to creating a seamless experience that simplifies the process and provides the information and support people need to get, stay and live well.”
Raley’s, Aisle50 partner in loyalty-technology program
SACRAMENTO — Supermarket chain Raley’s is partnering with a web portal that offers discounts to members of the chain’s loyalty card program.
Aisle50 announced the partnership with the California-based chain, which will offer it at all its 120 Raley’s Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods locations. Aisle50 works by allowing customers to purchase items online and then pick them up in the store, receiving discounts using their loyalty cards.
"Being a keystone in the northern California market, one of the country’s most tech-savvy, Raley’s is looking to find the best technology and partners to enhance our customers’ lives," Raley’s director of CRM marketing and analytics Tom Hutchison said. "The content from Aisle50 and its direct tie into our rewards program will give Raley’s a unique offering within our markets for a set of consumers that demands it."
Aisle50 also has partnerships with North Carolina-based Lowes Foods, Pennsylvania-based Shop ‘n Save, New York-based D’Agostino and Oklahoma-based Homeland Stores.
"Our technology gives brands a way to convert consumers before they head to the store while also driving more trips and bigger baskets to our retailer partners," Aisle50 cofounder Christopher Steiner said. "We’re excited to get into California and in front of the great set of consumers that Raley’s serves."
Can you keep a secret?
Abraham Lincoln is said to once have quipped: “It’s not me who can’t keep a secret. It’s the people I tell that can’t.”
But secret-keeping in business is no joke. According to Symantec, theft and misappropriation of trade secrets, customer lists and other intellectual assets is estimated to cost U.S. businesses $250 billion annually.
Steve Jobs was known for swearing employees to secrecy about the latest gadget being developed by Apple. These days, the next version of the iPhone is not only understood before it’s released, competitors get a head start in copying its new features and functions. And after-market programmers feverishly develop add-on applications that will debut at the same moment the iPhone 6 launches.
Has the art of keeping secrets gone the way of online privacy? I personally don’t think so — what’s changed is how you keep a secret. Here are five ideas that can help companies keep a cloak of secrecy over its latest developments.
- Tighten your inner circle. Remember, loose lips sink ships. If you are entrusting employees or other confidants with sensitive company information, be certain you know how they will use it. The simple rule of thumb may be to simply tell fewer people.
- Consider secrecy agreements. If you have concerns about employees who may flee during an upcoming product development or marketing campaign phase, execute non-competes. Although not a fail-safe, it provides something to lean on if push comes to shove.
- Watch competitors. Perhaps there are too many television shows about moles within organizations, but keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing is vital. If it starts to look like they are introducing a new product that is strikingly familiar, there may be cause for alarm.
- Understand the laws. Trade secrets can be protected by certain federal and state laws. It’s essential to take the necessary — and defensible — steps to protecting your business concepts.
- Develop Plan B. As you begin your planning exercises around the latest, greatest innovation, consider your fallback plan if someone lets the cat out of the bag. First, consider the damage that may be done. Then, have a Plan B that can quickly provide course-correction.
Do you have a horror story to share? Or perhaps you want to add to my list of safeguards. In either case, let me know what you think … don’t keep it a secret.
Hamacher Resource Group vice president Dave Wendland, a 20-plus-year retail industry veteran, is a popular presenter and discussion facilitator available to speak at corporate and association events on a variety of retail-related topics. HRG is a research, marketing and category management firm specializing in consumer health care at retail. Product manufacturers, healthcare distributors, retailers, technology partners and others rely on HRG for strategic and creative solutions to help build their business. Learn more at www.hamacher.com.