Wal-Mart Increases Premium Costs, Cuts Benefits
Costs for this employer's most popular health coverage plan will increase to about $15 per two-week pay period. It's current cost is $11 per pay period.
Market Watch: Wal-Mart Ups Health-Care Premium, Trims Benefits
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest U.S. private employer, said it's increasing its health care premium for next year's coverage by about 36 percent and will stop offering health care benefits for new part-time employees working under 24 hours a week. The change means that, for its most popular plan chosen by employees, the premium will go up to $15 per two-week pay period from $11, Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Rossiter said in an interview Friday (Cheng, 10/21).
Reuters: Wal-Mart Trims Some U.S. Health Coverage
Wal-Mart Stores Inc will no longer offer health insurance to new part-time U.S. employees who work fewer than 24 hours a week and will charge workers who use tobacco more for coverage as health care costs rise, the company said on Friday. Wal-Mart, the largest U.S. retailer and the nation's largest private employer, is also slashing the amount that it puts in employees' health care expense accounts by 50 percent (Wohl, 10/21).
However, CQ HealthBeat reports on findings from a study that indicate employers will not abandon the health coverage they provide to their employees —
CQ HealthBeat: Employers Won't Abandon Health Insurance Coverage, Study Says
A new study by the Urban Institute bolsters the Obama administration's contention that the health care law won't prompt employers to drop their workers' health insurance. The liberal-leaning institute says that employer-sponsored insurance likely will remain a staple of the workplace because it is an essential factor in keeping a good workforce for many employers. Decreases in the numbers of people who have such insurance may continue, driven by rising health care costs. But it won't be because of the health care law, says the study, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Norman, 10/21).