Just a few years ago Wal-Mart was trying to mollify critics by expanding health insurance benefits for its millions of employees, but no more! Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer, is not only rolling back prices these days; it’s rolling back its health insurance benefits, substantially cutting back on the benefits available to its employees and cutting off all future part-time employees who work less than 24 hours a week altogether.
It’s a major about-face for Wal-Mart which expanded its health insurance eligibility to part-time workers just a few years ago after heavy criticism that many of its employees could not afford or did not qualify for health insurance coverage, and in fact, many were on Medicaid.
In addition to cutting off part-time workers who work less than 24 hours a week, part-timers who work between 24 and 33 hours a week will not longer be able to include a spouse on their health insurance plan. However, those part-timers will still be able to include children on their health insurance.
Wal-Mart’s health insurance plans will also be increasing health insurance premiums, some by as much as 40%. And if you’re a Wal-Mart employee who smokes, Wal-Mart will be tacking on a penalty of $10 to $90 each pay period for health insurance coverage.
And if you’re a Wal-Mart employee who signs up for a high-deductible health insurance plan to save on those premiums, your benefits are shrinking too. The money that Wal-Mart contributes to HSAs for employees to help pay their deductibles and non-covered medical expenses is also going down from $1,000 to $500.
In fairness, Wal-Mart, many employers don’t offer health insurance coverage to part-time workers are all. Still we have to consider this a major “Ouch!”
Does your employer offer health insurance benefits to part-time workers? Tell us about it!
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