Trader Joe’s Gets Rid Of Health Insurance Benefit For Part-Timers

At first glance, this story has a scary headline: Trader Joe’s is yanking health insurance away from many employees because of Obamacare. That is what’s happening, but leaves out that yes, workers are losing their coverage…because the Affordable Care Act means that adults whose jobs don’t provide health insurance but who are well above the poverty line will have access to reasonably priced insurance through state exchanges.

It’s rare for a company to provide health insurance for part-time employees in the first place, which means that Trader Joe’s will be one of very few employers to make the headlines for doing away with the benefit. The company will give part-timers $500 at the beginning of the year toward purchasing their own health insurance.

This news broke two weeks before consumers can begin to browse health insurance exchanges, but not because Trader Joe’s wanted to make a big deal out of it. The Huffington Post got hold of and publicized a company memo about the insurance change earlier this week.

Trader Joe’s Sends Part-Timers to Obama Health Exchanges [Bloomberg News]