Walmart Rolls Back Health Benefits for Workers

Tara - posted on 10/21/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )




Wal-Mart rolls back health care benefits, NYT reports

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer and the nation's largest private employer, is slashing health benefits for part-time workers and raising premiums for many of its full-time staff, The New York Times reported Friday.

The newspaper said Wal-Mart announced to its workers this week that new part-time employees who work less than 24 hours per week on average would not be eligible for any of the company's health insurance plans. New employees who work 24 to 33 hours per week would not be allowed to add a spouse to their coverage, either, although children would still be covered.

The company cited rising health care costs, which have forced it to alter its insurance plans, the newspaper said. It said Wal-Mart noted that the change was not the result of the new federal health care law.

“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,” Wal-Mart spokesman Greg Rossiter told The New York Times. “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.”

Wal-Mart defines a full time employee as anyone who works more than 34 hours, The Associated Press reported. The news agency added that Wal-Mart employees who smoke will see their premiums rise too.

Nice of them. Now we wait and see how many new full time employees actually get hired, my guess? NONE.


Isobel - posted on 10/21/2011




I don't know if you realize this Sherri, but at one point, companies used to sell their wares, then pay their bills THEN find out how much profits they made. I understand this may sound crazy since today they decide how much profit they must make first and then raise prices and cut benefits to match it...but yes...once upon a time even large businesses actually lost money sometimes :O

Janice - posted on 10/21/2011




Well as much as this does suck for those employees, the truth is that most companies cut off health coverage benefits at 37 hours. So the fact that they offer anything to those working 24-33 hours is actually pretty good.

Is it right that they did this when you look at their profit margin? No, but really its not surprising. Smaller companies do it too. Their profit may not be as big but their owner is still making big bucks compared to the workers.

The bigger issue is that the only way to get health insurance is through employment or being poor.

Johnny - posted on 10/21/2011




Walmart's US profits were equal to $2571 for every single employee in 2010 alone. Not just full-time employees.

Every. Single. Person. Who. Works. For. Walmart. In. The. United. States.

$2571. Each

That would have paid for some serious premium increases.

Rosie - posted on 10/21/2011




sigh. and we don't need UHC? i might agree with sherri that this is not walmarts fault, it's the fucking insurance companies and our stupid ass healthcare system.

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America3437 - posted on 12/04/2012




All I can say is Sam would be very disappointed at the way his children are running his business.

Joseph - posted on 12/04/2012




Wal-Mart defines a full time employee as anyone who works more than 34 hours, The Associated Press reported. The news agency added that Wal-Mart employees who smoke will see their premiums rise too.

Not true, I worked there for 4 months 40 hours a week and was still part-time without any sort of benefits. I had to ''apply for a new job" to get upgraded to full-time basically,

Suzie - posted on 10/22/2011




there are many companies in this countery that do not offer benifits even to full time employes

Jennie - posted on 10/22/2011




Tara....I am not surprised that this has happened one bit. I worked in retail for many years until the company I worked for, filed bankruptcy and went out of business. Walmart accepted all of our employees with open arms, and some went there, while other sis not. I did not. I had a very bad feeling about going there and was hell bent on the fact that, Walmart would become one of the biggest retail chains, that would in the end, cause many problems. Prices would rise, who would there be to compete with? I know where I live, they are the only retailer around with 50 miles. That does not leave a whole lot of options for us. I have also noticed the decline in Customer Service in our Walmart. We supposedly became a "Super Center" not to long ago. I say supposedly because the only thing our store did was, add groceries. And in my opinion, other departments became smaller. You could literally blink and be through the mens department, as well as the womens department. Not to mention, with the new 22 lanes available for checkout, you would be lucky to see 3 open at a time. That surely does not ensure, good quality customer service, as people impatiently wait in line. Yet struggle with the price of gas to travel elsewhere.

When you are one of the biggest retail companies, you can make whatever decision regarding benefits, raises and the way you not only treat your customers but your employees as well. I mean, who is here to run them over anymore? Where is the competition? Nowhere. They figure the worst that will happen is they will go through employees faster than normal. It is a shame. A very big shame that a company so big, is allowed to make these kind of choices.

JL - posted on 10/21/2011




OH how I love America...all about the profit..screw the people. People don't matter. Walmart is banking. Economically even with raises in health care costs they can afford to continue the benefits and still make a BIG profit so the DUI Walmart heiress will still be hooked up just fine financially. Don't worry she can continue to do nothing but be a drunken bum with great health care.

This is why we need UHC in the US. This is why Obamacare is not some horrific thing to fear. If companies cannot afford to provide health care benefits, if you don't qualify for state assistance because your not "poor" then how do you suppose someone can cover themselves and their families.

BTW McCain now wants to prevent Veterans who are still working from using TRICARE. That would eliminate my parents health care. My dad is retired from the military but still works. Health care costs outside of Tricare are ridiculously outrageous and it would hurt even working vets to have to find health care outside of Tricare. Thankfully my dad words for a CANADIAN company here in the US so he won't be screwed over like the other working vets. His Canadian company has decently priced benefits.

Johnny - posted on 10/21/2011




Keli, if I may point out though, if you were working at the Bay you were probably in Canada, where you have access to universal health care. It's not great that they do not offer benefits at all, but here it means no help paying for dental, glasses, and chiropractic. In the US, it means paying out of pocket just to see a doctor or to visit the ER. It's rather comparing apples to oranges.

Tinker1987 - posted on 10/21/2011




when i worked for hudsons bay company i had no benifits even working fulltime.this isnt a shocker to me. but definetly didnt have anything when i did part time hours!

Isobel - posted on 10/21/2011




correct...can't blame Walmart for it...they barely made any money last year. They clearly had NO choice.

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