Health insurance elimination by Walmart could harm workers’ wallets

walmart health insurance

Reports are showing that temporary workers who are no longer being covered by the company could face financial struggles.

Recently, Walmart made insurance news headlines when it announced that when it comes to the temporary workers that it employers, it would no longer be offering health insurance coverage among the employment benefits.

The company announced that this would affect only a small fraction of the total number of people it employs.

Though Walmart pointed out that among the 1.4 million people that the company employs in the United States, only 30,000 would be affected by its removal of health insurance benefits for its temporary part time workers, simply because only that many of them had been receiving those benefits, in the first place. However, a recent report in Forbes has pointed out that this insurance news story may be larger than it originally seems. It pointed out that among the full time workers for that retail giant, even a single serious illness or stretch in the hospital could lead those individuals to financial disaster.

The health insurance that they currently receive includes very high deductibles and could bring on significant out of pocket expenses.

walmart health insuranceThe Forbes story showed that one bad illness or injury could bring about expenses that are the equivalent to a year of earnings for one of Walmart’s full time workers.

According to a spokesperson for Walmart, Randy Hargrove, “Healthcare costs have increased each year and Walmart has worked hard to avoid passing on costs to our associates.” In order to help to keep the costs under control, the company has taken the strategy of removing the healthcare insurance coverage for the workers whose part time hours were lower than 30 per week from October 5, 2013 to October 5, 2014.

Previous data from Walmart had suggested that approximately 40 percent of the workforce at the retailer is considered to be part time, which means that they work 34 hours or fewer, per week. Hargrove explained that many of the part time employees that they hire are already on the health insurance plan of a spouse or parent and had therefore opted not to take advantage of their own coverage offer.

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