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Fred’s Super Dollar stores in North Carolina and Georgia will become the first retail locations to implement a platform that encourages eligible consumers to make healthy-living choices by purchasing qualified items at the point of sale. With the Medagate restricted-spend 2.0 platform, Fred’s customers taking part in select wellness programs (those sponsored by an insurer, employer, benefit administrator, retailer or consumer product goods manufacturer) automatically, and in real time, will receive special discounts on pre-identified healthy food items and eligible over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. The program launches Dec. 1.
“[Our] 2.0 restricted-spend platform … allows retailers and benefit administrators to collaborate on wellness initiatives to help lower overall health care costs,” said Devin Wade, president of Redwood City, Calif.-based Medagate, a wholly owned subsidiary of InComm Holdings Inc. “Consumers receive immediate discounts at the register for a range of health-and-wellness products determined by their health care provider. The future of health care consumerism involves the direct involvement by payers to support healthy choices. Our platform creates an incentive-based platform that can be used to support those efforts.”
By early December, participating consumers will begin receiving cards enabling them to get the discounts at Fred’s stores. The initial eligible products will range from OTC medicines to fresh vegetables, milk and dairy products. Customized catalogs can be organized directly by benefit providers or in collaboration with manufacturers and retailers.
“This program is the type of targeted benefit and partnership that we are pleased to offer our customers and their benefit providers,” said David Mueller, SVP of sales and marketing at Memphis, Tenn.-based Fred’s, which operates more than 700 stores, including 21 franchised locations and 339 pharmacies, in 15 Southeastern states. “We want to enable incentives for our customers that help keep them healthy and save them money.”
The 2.0 platform builds on Medagate’s OTCNetwork to accommodate a broader assortment of grocery and health-and-wellness products, and more dynamic discount incentives. The new platform permits reimbursement and discounting of products down to the SKU level in real time at the point of sale.
The OTCNetwork is currently integrated into point-of-sale terminals at more than 35,000 retail locations in all 50 states. Medagate works with health plans and state governments to enable Medicare Advantage and state Medicaid programs to provide more efficient access to, and use of, OTC item benefits. OTC Medicare Network reloadable pre-paid cards are the first to restrict usage exclusively to OTC Medicare and OTC Medicaid benefits eligible items.