GNC is the latest retailer to move into healthcare services by offering membership plans that give customers access to virtual care and prescriptions.
The nutrition and wellness company said Monday it will virtually offer primary care, urgent care, mental health services and physical therapy, plus medications at a discount or with no out-of-pocket cost, to members.
GNC Health is partnering with telehealth provider ReviveHealth to provide the services, and no insurance payments are involved. Monthly memberships range from $9.99 to $59.99. Basic plans are $34.99 a year.
The virtual care launch has been in the works for a couple years and signals a shift toward more holistic health offerings for customers, said Allison Bentley, senior director of strategic programs at GNC Health. The company plans to add virtual weight-loss care, she said.
"We do feel like this is an amazing evolution for GNC," Bentley said. "We view this as a supplemental healthcare plan. It's not going to cover if you need to have a baby, go to the hospital for a surgery or anything, but for a relatively healthy individual or somebody that has more of a lifestyle medication that they need to be on, this is an amazing option."
The company's launch is also a challenge to traditional healthcare to do better, she said.
GNC is one of several big retailers offering healthcare services to consumers as an alternative to traditional care sites. Companies such as CVS, Kroger, Walmart and Walgreens have aggressively invested in these services in recent years, dabbling in clinical trials, brick-and-mortar clinics, virtual offerings and pharmacy services. The retailers are tapping into patients' desire for more accessible and affordable healthcare and relying on strong brand recognition to propel their strategies.
Best Buy Health is taking a less direct approach to healthcare services, providing technical support for at-home care and selling medical devices. Most recently, Best Buy began selling the Dexcom G7 continuous glucose monitoring system online, an expansion into prescription-based devices.