GNC launches supplemental health care service

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images /   andresr
Getty Images / andresr

Related tags Gnc Flexible spending account HSA healthcare

The new service, GNC Health, offers access to licensed medical professionals, reduced wait time for urgent care and personal health appointments for loyalty members.

The health and nutrition retailer recently debuted GNC Health, which provides virtual care services and free prescription medications for PRO Access members. The offering allows for the scheduling of acute virtual primary care, urgent care, and more without insurance, prescription cards or traveling to a doctor’s office.

Available to GNC PRO Access loyalty members for a fixed cost of $39.99 per year, GNC Health offers unlimited telehealth appointments to address urgent care and personal health needs, as well as access to over 40 generic versions of most urgent care medications and 70+ generic personal health medications across lifestyle, dermatology, mental health, sports performance, anti-aging and sexual health care for no additional costs. 

Allison Bentley, GNC’s Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, told NutraIngredients-USA that customers are the company’s most valuable asset, so GNC decided to upgrade its loyalty program based on consumer feedback. 

“With the rise in health care costs, GNC saw an opportunity to add significant value to its PRO loyalty members seeking more convenient access to healthcare offerings, like free telehealth appointments and more than 100 free prescriptions, with no copay required,” said Bentley. 

“GNC Health is the result of extensive research to understand what GNC’s best customers want.  Realizing that customers wanted whole health support–beyond supplementation–GNC set out to ensure that every PRO loyalty member nationwide would have access to the healthcare services they needed to Live Well,” Bentley said. 

Making health more accessible 

She added that GNC Health is not health insurance, rather, it’s a service that provides GNC’s PRO loyalty members with access to virtual healthcare and prescriptions.

“GNC Health can be a solution for those that do not have healthcare coverage or for those that are looking for supplemental coverage or as an alternative solution to their existing coverage,” noted Bentley. 

Last month bipartisan legislation was introduced​ in the House of Representatives that would provide tax incentives to millions of Americans and effectively lower their cost of purchasing dietary supplements. 

Under current law, FSAs and HSAs allow employees to put aside money before it has been taxed to pay for healthcare costs related to medical care, including certain prescription drugs, dental and vision care, OTCs, feminine products, and other health-related items.

While these accounts were established to help make healthcare more affordable, the IRS does not recognize dietary supplements as eligible expenses to be paid for through these accounts. The Dietary Supplements Access Act​ would end this interpretation and allow Americans to use their HSA and FSA funds to help pay for the dietary supplements.

“GNC supports this bill,” said Bentley. “GNC is hopeful that the bill will pass so that dietary supplements will be covered under Flex/Health spending accounts.”

Growth strategy

Since GNC’s inception nearly 90 years ago, the company has evolved from a single location health food store, to become a national retailer, and now a global retailer with locations in over 50 countries.

“GNC’s continued transformation to a health and wellness platform is a result of smart and strategic pivots that have allowed GNC to make investments in solutions such as GNC Health that complement its core business and help customers Live Well,” Bentley said. 

 

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