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Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Walmart is expanding its unique employee health benefit.

Why it matters: Walmart is the largest private-sector employer in the country, and it has taken a remarkably hands-on approach to seeking out quality in its health coverage — even when that comes at a considerable cost.

Where it stands: Walmart contracts directly with a small group of high-quality systems — including Geisinger and the Mayo Clinic — and pays employees’ travel costs, in addition to their medical costs, if they'll get certain procedures at those preferred facilities.

What's new: Walmart is adding more providers to that small network, and is also testing out a sort of health care concierge for its workers. 

  • The company will test a program featuring local providers in Central Florida and Dallas. The providers will still be selected based on Walmart's quality metrics.
  • It will steer employees to those doctors for 8 specialties: primary care, cardiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, obstetrics, oncology, orthopedics and pulmonology.
  • Walmart is also piloting a concierge service to help employees navigate "billing and appointments, but also finding a quality provider, understanding a diagnosis and addressing other complex questions," the company said in a release.
  • That program will roll out in the Carolinas.

Thought bubble: Walmart's effort to seek out and favor high-quality providers, even when it comes at a near-term cost, is a stark contrast to the penny-pinching and cost-shifting that define so much of the employer market.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

Far-right figure "Baked Alaska" arrested for involvement in Capitol siege

Photo: Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The FBI arrested far-right media figure Tim Gionet, known as "Baked Alaska," on Saturday for his involvement in last week's Capitol riot, according to a statement of facts filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

The state of play: Gionet was arrested in Houston on charges related to disorderly or disruptive conduct on the Capitol grounds or in any of the Capitol buildings with the intent to impede, disrupt, or disturb the orderly conduct of a session, per AP.