Deal has been long speculated since announced $69 billion merger between CVS Health and Aetna.
Walmart is in preliminary negotiations to buy Humana, The Wall Street Journal has reported.
There are few details in the potential deal that has not been announced publicly by either the retailer or the insurer.
But speculation has existed among industry analysts for months after the announced $69 billion merger between CVS Health and Aetna.
Two years ago, Aetna was in a proposed $34 billion deal to buy Humana.
Walmart is facing increased competition from such an integrated pharmacy business and is currently in an arms race against Amazon as the online giant has made strides into the Medicaid market by offering those beneficiaries a discounted Prime membership.
Humana specializes in Medicare Advantage plans for seniors, a fast-growing demographic as baby boomers enter retirement age.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has shown support for MA plans, said David Friend, MD, chief transformation officer of The BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation.
Friend predicts that due to the partnerships and mergers between healthcare companies, retailers and insurers, the traditional pharmacy benefit model could become extinct.
“The CVS-Aetna merger was a watershed moment in healthcare. But Walmart-Humana signifies the beginning of the avalanche that will cause the entire healthcare system to converge,” Friend said by statement. “And as this deal signifies, the healthcare organization that accurately captures and analyzes the data of the fast-growing U.S. demographic — seniors — stands to lead the industry of the future.”