Thanks to America’s largest employer a considerable amount of people may soon be without health care. Walmart employees revealed on Friday that the company would be jacking up health care premiums by as much as 40% while eliminating coverage completely for many of their part-time workers.
Speaking about their decision Walmart told the New York Times that their decision was made because of the rising costs associated with health care. According to one spokesman:
“The decisions made were not easy,” while they added, “but they strike a balance between managing costs and providing quality care.”
Under the new plan employees who work less than 24 hours per week will not be eligible for coverage. New hires who work 24 to 33 hours will be able to receive benefits but they won’t be able to add their spouse to the plan, although children can be added.
One employee in Placerville, California told The Times that her premiums will increase from $260 annually to $468. That same employee also revealed that her deductible will now jump from $1,000 to $5,000. When you consider that the employee who revealed their premium increase only earns $19,000 per year from Walmart it’s a considerable chunk of income that’s being taken away.
The company will also require that employees who smoke pay a significant penalty to begin receiving health insurance, a penalty that ranges anywhere from $260 to $2,340.
The fact that Walmart is slashing coverage comes just a few years after they initially expanded their health care coverage to more part-time employees. Walmart initially extended coverage after pressure from various states who no longer wanted Walmart employees using their Medicaid programs.
Do you think this is another example of Walmart taking advantage of their employees? This would be the perfect time for Walmart employees to form that union their company keeps busting.