Amazon (AMZN 4.03%) employees eager to try the virtual healthcare services that launched a couple of years ago in Seattle will get their chance this summer. On Wednesday, the company announced a nationwide rollout of Amazon Care's online services to begin this summer.
Amazon's healthcare ambitions seemed like they were winding down earlier this year when the company disbanded Haven, a joint venture formed three years earlier with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, a lofty goal to disrupt the U.S. healthcare system.
Amazon's latest move into the healthcare space, though, will probably be its most disruptive one yet. That's because the company will make Amazon Care virtual services available to all U.S.-based employers. The in-person follow-up services will be limited to Washington state and the Washington, D.C., metro area.
Amazon Care's impending expansion could be bad news for Teladoc Health (TDOC 5.65%) and terrible news for its smaller peers. Teladoc Health can distinguish itself with an extra-strong focus on chronic care thanks to its big merger with Livongo last year.
Smaller telehealth providers that can't offer a suite of services could have a hard time competing with giants like Amazon and Cigna (CI 1.18%). In February, Cigna, a leading U.S. health insurer, acquired MDLive, a privately held virtual-care provider.
At the end of 2020, Amazon employed more than 1.2 million people on a full- or part-time basis. That means Amazon Care will become one of the country's largest telehealth service providers overnight, whether U.S. employers are eager to join or not.