As Pride month draws to a close, Walmart has introduced a new benefits platform to provide comprehensive care for LGBTQ+ associates. Through a partnership with San Francisco-based health care company Grand Rounds, employees on a Walmart medical plan and their covered dependents can take advantage of Included Health, which was created especially for the LGBTQ+ community.
“Over the past year, we’ve doubled down on our commitments to inclusive well-being by growing the suite of benefits aimed at meeting the needs of all our associates and their families,” noted Lisa Woods, Walmart's VP physical and emotional well-being, in a recent blog post, adding: “When it comes to health care, finding quality providers that specialize in individual cares and concerns can be overwhelming. With Included Health, associates can take advantage of concierge services that specialize in connecting LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones with quality, affirming care.”
According to data cited by Woods, 35% of the LGTBQ+ community doesn’t engage with the health care system. “Often, it’s because they don’t feel comfortable speaking candidly with their health care providers — they don’t feel seen or heard,” she explained. “We want all of our associates to get the quality care they need.”
Included Health’s comprehensive services focus on three key areas:
- Connecting: Helping members find providers who are clinically competent in understanding their health nuances, risks and concerns.
- Empowering: Care coordinators offer support on a range of topics beyond provider pairing, such as understanding insurance benefits, coming out at work, and parenting an LGBTQ+ youth.
- Advocating: Specific support in planning for gender-affirming care.
“We often say inclusion means building a Walmart for everyone,” observed Woods. “Today, we’re taking another important step in our journey of developing well-being programs that help all of our associates and their families live better. ”
Other recent innovative associate health care moves from Walmart include offering doulas for expectant moms, starting in Georgia.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates about 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam’s Club ranks No. 9 on the list.