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Target Test Program Lets Shoppers Get Health Insurance In-Store

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Target is testing a pilot program that allows you to shop health insurance in their stores.

"Health care, no matter if you get your insurance from your employer or if you get it through an exchange or on the individual market, it's still extremely confusing," said Steve Lafferty, Target's senior director of healthcare partnerships.

He said that is why the company partnered with Gravie, another Minnesota company, to offer health insurance in stories.

The program started in January and is in Targets on Lake Street in Minneapolis, Plymouth and Apple Valley.

"People are very excited to know that we're here, we're at a place that's comfortable for them," said Valerie Power, the head of client services at Gravie.

She said Gravie is an expert advisor to help people find insurance that's appropriate for themselves or their family.

"We actually help you go through the entire application process, fill out applications," Power said. "We're also there anytime during the year if you have questions or concern."

Gravie is not affiliated with MNsure or any government website, but it will help you through the process if you qualify for government assistance.

Gravie is a free program available online, over the phone and now in a few Twin Cities Targets.

"We found a need for people who need that face-to-face conversation," Power said. "Because insurance can be confusing and complicated."

Most targets already have rooms available for health screenings and flu shots, but now they are available for Gravie. They give shoppers some privacy when talking about insurance.

People can drop in on evenings or weekends or make an appointment. Power said the meetings can take anywhere from a half hour to 60 minutes.

Target said it's a natural fit for their stores.

"We operate clinics and pharmacies, and we have health care professionals in our stores," Lafferty said. "We're on the front lines every day. We thought it be an interesting proposition for us to actually create a service."

Gravie is paid by insurance companies, but carry every Minnesota insurance through their services.

Target said they will consider expanding or changing the program after the open enrollment cycle ends in March.

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