Walmart Reportedly Interested In Reviving Humana Deal Talks

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) remained in the headlines Friday, this time after being linked to Walmart (NYSE: WMT) in potential deal talks.

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Cigna Group (NYSE: CI) and Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) have already been in touch about a potential combination.

But on Friday morning, the research advisory company Gordon Haskett reported that a Humana corporate jet flew to Rogers, Arkansas Friday, which is near Walmart’s headquarters.


That’s not all that fueled speculation, though.

Walmart also considered buying Humana in 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

While Cigna and Humana may be able to offload assets to make a deal work without regulatory scrutiny, Walmart would likely face less issues. The retailer has less direct overlap with Humana’s services and offerings, but a deal between the two would still be a massive blockbuster.


It would also mean Walmart getting into the home health business. Humana owns CenterWell Home Health, one of the largest home health providers in the country.

Walmart is not new to health care. In fact, it has slowly but surely been creeping into health care – and home-based health care – since it first considered a Humana acquisition in 2018.

For one, in 2019, Humana partnered with Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) on an initiative to bolster home health access across the country. UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is in the process of acquiring Amedisys right now.

Humana and Walmart also worked together on COVID-19 vaccination efforts beginning in 2020.

More recently, Walmart partnered with UnitedHealth Group on a “wide-ranging, 10-year” collaboration.

“We’re on a journey to transform health care, connecting more people to the right care at the right time — at a cost that makes sense,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said last year. “This collaboration puts the patient at the center of health care by leveraging the strength and complementary skill sets of our two companies to accelerate access to quality care.”

Walmart Health has made an effort to get more into Medicare Advantage (MA) of late as well. By 2024, it set a goal to add 28 additional health clinics to its stores, according to Axios.

Those clinics offer primary care, behavioral health services, vision checks and dental care. Humana, of course, is one of the largest MA players in the U.S. It has over 5 million MA beneficiaries, and that number is rapidly increasing.

Humana did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

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