In health insurance-aimed cost-cutting maneuvers, Walmart won’t subsidize health insurance for future employees who work fewer than 24 hours a week. Also, new part-timers who work fewer than 33 weekly hours won’t be able to add spouses to their plans. And like workers at most any other company, full-timers with complete health benefits will have more deducted from their paychecks.
The New York Times reports the cuts are a reversal of company policy. In recent years, government and community groups pressured Walmart into offering care to more impoverished workers to get them off of Medicaid rolls. But now the company says cost increases have forced it to scale back health benefits.
A spokesman tells the Times:
“Over the last few years, we’ve all seen our health care rates increase and it’s probably not a surprise that this year will be no different. We made the difficult decision to raise rates that will affect our associates’ medical costs. The decisions made were not easy, but they strike a balance between managing costs and providing quality care and coverage.”
Two years ago, Walmart said 52 percent of its workers secured health insurance through the company. The company didn’t comment on current numbers, but that figure is sure to plummet, especially with Walmart jacking premiums 40 percent for some plans.
Wal-Mart Cuts Some Health Care Benefits [The New York Times]