Walmart Stops Health Insurance for Part-time Workers

Walmart has been vociferously criticized for paying minimum wage. Employees attack Walmart for providing a job, which they accepted, but which they say does not pay enough. (Enough for whom?)

schiff wal-mart

But now we find out this largest employer of part-time workers in the nation has also been providing health insurance benefits for these part-time employees. How many other companies paying minimum wage would provide those kinds of benefits.

But that is now over. Walmart is stopping. No longer will part-time employees be insured.

From Associated Press:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for some of its part-time U.S. employees in a move aimed at controlling rising health care costs of the nation’s largest private employer.

Wal-Mart told the Associated Press that starting Jan. 1, it will no longer offer health insurance to employees who work less than an average of 30 hours a week. The move affects 30,000 employees, or about 5 percent of Wal-Mart’s total part-time workforce, but comes after the company already had scaled back the number of part-time workers who were eligible for health insurance coverage since 2011.

The announcement follows similar decisions by Target, Home Depot and others to completely eliminate health insurance benefits for part-time employees. It also comes a day after Wal-Mart said it is teaming up with an online health insurance agency called DirectHealth.com to help customers shop for health insurance plans.

“We had to make some tough decisions,” Sally Welborn, Wal-Mart’s senior vice president of benefits, told The Associated Press.

Welborn said she didn’t know how much Wal-Mart will save by dropping part-time employees, but added that the company will use a third-party organization to help part-time workers find insurance alternatives: “We are trying to balance the needs of (workers) as well as the costs of (workers) as well as the cost to Wal-Mart.”

Wait a minute. I thought that the Affordable Care Act was bringing costs down. Why are all these companies claiming that healthcare costs are increasing so fast? Surely the government would never bend the truth for us, would it?

They didn’t just bend the truth. Not only are healthcare costs going up for companies, but Obamacare is the reason they are going up.

The announcement comes after Wal-Mart said far more U.S. employees and their families are enrolling in its health care plans than it had expected following rollout of the Affordable Care Act, which requires big companies to offer coverage to employees working 30 hours or more a week or face a penalty. It also requires most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.

Wal-Mart, which employs about 1.4 million full- and part-time U.S. workers, says about 1.2 million Wal-Mart workers and family members combined now participate in its health care plan. And that has had an impact on Wal-Mart’s bottom line. Wal-Mart now expects the impact of higher health care costs to be about $500 million for the current fiscal year, or about $170 million higher than the original estimate of about $330 million that it gave in February.

So here is just one more way, “If you like your plan you can keep your plan,” was a naked deception.