KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Target To Drop Part-Time Workers’ Health Policies, Join Other Companies Changing Benefits After ACA Rollout

Experts predict that more employers with large numbers of part-time workers will follow as they attempt to keep costs low.

Los Angeles Times: Target To Drop Health Policies For Part-Time Workers
Target Corp. became the latest major company to say it will stop offering healthcare coverage for part-time workers, and experts said it won't be the last. … Target joins a growing list of retailers and restaurants that are making changes to their health benefits as the rollout of President Obama's healthcare law continues. Home Depot Inc. in September said it would drop coverage for part-time workers in January, a change that would affect roughly 5% of its workforce. Walgreens Co. switched its more than 160,000 employees to employer-sponsored coverage through a private health exchange. Experts predict more employers in industries with large numbers of part-time workers will make similar decisions to keep costs low (Lopez and Hsu, 1/22).

The Washington Post: Target Is Dropping Insurance For Some Because Of Obamacare. That Could Be Good News For Workers. 
Target made a very big announcement this week ---one that, for the first time in a while, had nothing to do with credit card breaches. The Fortune 500 company said Tuesday that it would stop providing health-care benefits to its part-time workers, instead directing them to purchase coverage through the health law's exchange. This adds Target to a growing list of companies that have dropped health benefits for part-time workers --including Home Depot and Trader Joe's -- pointing a finger squarely at Obamacare. Like companies before it, Target has framed the change, which begins April 1, as not so bad for employees, arguing that the decision could instead prove advantageous (Kliff, 1/22).

The Fiscal Times: More Companies Dump Employee Insurance For Obamacare
This week, another major U.S. retailer—Target—announced that it will be cutting health coverage for its part-time workers in response to changes stemming from the president’s health care law. The Minneapolis-based company now joins the likes of Home Depot and Trader Joes, among others, that have decided to dump part-time employee coverage to save on health care costs. “Health-care reform is transforming the benefits landscape and affecting how all employers, including Target, administer health benefits coverage,” Jodee Kozlak, Target’s executive vice president of human resources, said in a post on the company’s website (Ehley, 1/23).

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