US employees of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) will have to pay 8-36% extra in premiums for its medical coverage in the year 2013. This is expected to prompt around 1.4 million workers at the largest private employer of the nation to say that they will give up coverage altogether.
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In the mails that were sent out to workers for its newly completed open-enrollment period, the company has noted that its rates would amplify since healthcare costs are on the rise.
For its most popular plan that covers individuals, the payment for bi-weekly paycheck is shooting up by $2. Other packages will see increases by larger margins as Wal-Mart tries to control its own cost.
The world’s largest retailer said that the average costs that its employees will have to bear should only increase about 4.4% in the year 2013, due to abolition of some high premium plans. That is why it has taken efforts in offering heart and spine surgeries for free to most of the employees at 6 health care centers. It will also be providing other services like an access to a healthcare advisor.
The increase is less than 9% on an average that is expected for all American workers next year, as per a study by Aon Hewitt, a human resources company. However, it is not clear if the figures are analogous.
Wal-Mart’s example could be a blueprint for other workers, who are trying to manage their costs while making arrangements for meeting the requirements of the US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was passed in the year of 2010 and is widely known as Obamacare.
Part-time workers, who have been recently hired at Wal-Mart will have to work at least 30 hours each week, until they are eligible for coverage. The Affordable Care Act only needs workers to provide coverage for their staff, who work a minimum of 30 hours each week.