Sam’s Club $99 Health Service Is Not Health Insurance

The new health services being offered at Sam’s Club have been making news because of the unbelievably low $99 price tag. However, those who want to run to Sam’s for cheap health coverage should know that these services do not qualify as health insurance. Not to say these services can’t be helpful, but they don’t give you access to many services available under a true health plan.

What Is the Prevention Plan?

The next time you’re browsing through Sam’s Club looking for a 60-roll package of toilet paper, you could also add The Prevention Plan package to your cart. But what is this plan exactly?

The Prevention Plan is a tool that helps individuals better evaluate their health. The website advertises that it could help you “lose weight, quit smoking, control or reverse diabetes, lower blood pressure, eat healthier, manage stress, prevent depression and more!”

For your $99, you get an annual subscription to the club’s web-based program that offers the following:

  • An at-home blood screening test that tracks cholesterol, blood sugar and hemoglobin
  • A health risk assessment
  • A Personalized Prevention Plan that explains and prioritizes health risks
  • A personalized health coach
  • A prevention score that tracks your progress

As a part of the program, buyers will get access to a 24/7 nurse line, along with two sessions with their health coach. They will receive a physician summary that can be shown to a doctor.

The Plan Isn’t a Replacement for Health Insurance

There are more than 50 million people without health insurance, according to the Census Bureau, and Americans are desperate to find low-cost ways to secure coverage for their families. So, of course, any package with the word “health” and the price tag of “$99” seems like an affordable alternative to traditional health insurance.

This is why it’s important to know that while The Prevention Plan offers quite a few benefits that could help individuals improve their health, it does not offer access to:

  • Doctors
  • Hospitals or clinics
  • Prescription drugs
  • Coverage for any medical services

In other words, the information you receive from the package could be a great help for monitoring your health, as well as giving valuable information to a doctor, but if you don’t already have insurance the plan won’t give you the access to services that health coverage could afford.

One thing that Sam’s does offer–like many grocery stores with pharmacies–is access to cheap prescription drugs with no insurance required. The club offers 30-day generic prescriptions for $4 and 90-day prescriptions for $10. Of course, your prescriptions must match their list of low-cost generics to qualify for the low price.

If you don’t currently have insurance and need to see a doctor, it’s a good idea to turn to low-income health resources to help you locate programs and subsidies that help you get the medical services and treatments you need.