Costco, a prominent US retailer, is venturing into the healthcare market, aiming to provide its members with a range of online health services through a partnership with Sesame, a direct-to-consumer healthcare marketplace. This strategic move follows in the footsteps of other major retailers like Amazon and Walmart, who have also expanded their healthcare offerings to cater to the evolving needs of consumers.
Costco’s collaboration with Sesame introduces several cost-effective healthcare services to its members. Here are the key highlights of this initiative:
1. Online Health Visits: Costco members can access online health visits starting at just $29. These virtual consultations provide a convenient and affordable way for members to seek medical advice and diagnoses.
2. Virtual Therapy Visits: In addition to general health consultations, members can also opt for virtual therapy sessions at a cost of $79. This service offers access to mental health support from licensed professionals through online platforms.
3. Health Check-ups: Costco members can receive comprehensive health check-ups for $72. These check-ups may include various assessments to monitor and maintain one’s overall health and well-being.
4. 10% Discount on Other Services: Sesame offers a 10% discount on various healthcare services, including specialty medicine visits. This discount can help members access a wide range of medical services at a reduced cost.
5. Sesame as a Competitive Healthcare Marketplace: Sesame’s approach to healthcare is unique in that it fosters competition among healthcare providers. This competition is not dependent on patients’ insurance status, which can drive down prices. Sesame does not accept insurance, making it accessible to individuals who prefer to pay for their healthcare services in cash, such as those who are uninsured or enrolled in high deductible plans.
Costco’s decision to partner with Sesame aligns with its brand reputation for quality, value, and affordability. David Goldhill, Sesame’s co-founder and CEO, emphasized that Sesame can deliver high-quality healthcare services at a low cost—a combination that resonates with Costco’s values and the preferences of its members.
This move by Costco is part of a broader trend in the retail industry, with companies like Amazon, Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens expanding their healthcare services to include virtual visits, in-person care, and pharmacy services. The competitive landscape in the healthcare market is evolving rapidly, with various players seeking to provide convenient and cost-effective options for consumers.
Sesame, Costco’s partner in this endeavor, has attracted significant funding and expanded its services in recent years, including the launch of SesameRx, an online pharmacy program that offers affordable generic medications to those who schedule appointments through the Sesame platform. This initiative has made healthcare services more accessible to a wider range of individuals in need.