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Walmart has been in provisional negotiations on a possible purchase of Louisville wading health insurance, Humana, according to a news report.

No possible terms were published The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday in a story in which persons were known who were familiar with the matter.

Humana (HUM) shares rose by 10% in the after-market. Walmart (WMT) stocks lost 1%.

Humana spokespeople did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Walmart said in a statement that he is not commenting on any rumors or speculation.

The Wall Street Journal report warned that there was no guarantee that the deal would come about. But the move would make sense at a time when retailers are increasingly turning to healthcare, and business moguls like Warren Buffett and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos are considering ways to make medical services more efficient and cost-effective for their employees. 19659009] More: How Amazon, JPMorgan, Berkshire Could Alter American Health Care

There was much speculation about other insurance companies or retailers considering joining Humana. Insurer Aetna was an admirer even though the proposed merger with Humana was scrapped after a federal judge ruled that it would restrict competition.

Then Ana Gupte, a senior analyst at Leerink Partners, said that a rival insurer or a retailer Walmart or Walgreens could play a play for Humana after the drugstore chain CVS had announced Aetna for $ 69 billion in cash and cash Buy shares.

For Walmart, the purchase of Humana would be another salvo in the fight against the online giant Amazon According to reports is to sell prescription drugs.

Although such a move would force Amazon to overcome several regulatory barriers, the idea that the ecommerce giant could move into the pharmacy space was considered one of the factors that fused CVS.

Some of the The country's most prominent leaders also deal with health care. In January, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced that they are working together to find ways to improve healthcare and reduce costs for their hundreds of thousands of employees in the US

The photo taken in 2013 shows the front entrance of the health insurance giant Humana in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo: Alton Strupp, Alton Strupp / The Courier-Journal)

In competition with Amazon, Walmart has acquired several websites, including, to enhance and expand its online presence. But the purchase of Humana, which currently has a market value of $ 37 billion, according to the Journal, would be the retailer's largest acquisition.

Walmart and Humana have been working together since 2010 to offer low-cost prescription plans to Medicare customers, now under $ 20 a month.

While taking a step into health care may seem unorthodox, Walmart fits various aspects of the retail space. With a network of stores within 10 miles of 90% of households in the US, Walmart is already the country's largest grocer. And Toys R Us accused Walmart, along with Amazon and Target, of delivering the final blow during the holiday season, which prompted the iconic toy vendor to liquidate earlier this month.

Neil Saunders, Managing Director of retail consultancy Global Data, said "Connecting with Humana is a possible opportunity for Walmart to provide much needed concentration and discipline to the healthcare industry, but this alone is too vague an idea to act as a catalyst for Doing Business There are other things at stake to make the risks of a bond worthwhile. "[19659909] Aetna-Humana $ 37 Billion Health Fusion Dies, Cigna-Anthem Fights Over $ 48 B Offer

More: Humana slated to fire 1,300 workers, inform employees about jobs by the end of the week

More: Toys R Us accused Amazon of Target, Walmart for Death Strike

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