Target dropping health coverage for part-timers

by Jason Millman - Politico

alt

Target acknowledged the move will be jarring for some employees.


Target is the latest retail giant to drop health coverage for part-time employees, citing changes under by the health care law and low participation in its company health plans.

The company Tuesday night announced a plan to transition employees working fewer than 30 hours a week onto Obamacare health insurance exchanges, where they can get subsidized coverage.

Target said Tuesday night that just fewer than 10 percent of its employees bought into its health plan for part-time workers, and it said that many employees could get financial help in the exchanges, also known as marketplaces.

“Health care reform is transforming the benefits landscape and affecting how all employers, including Target, administer health benefits coverage,” Jodee Kozlak, Target vice president of human resources, wrote in a blog post. “Our decision to discontinue this benefit comes after careful consideration of the impact to our stores’ part-time team members and to Target, the new options available for our part-time team and the historically low number of team members who elected to enroll in the part-time plan.”

Starting next year, the Affordable Care Act requires businesses of 50 or more employees to offer coverage meeting minimum standards to employees working 30 or more hours a week — but there’s no coverage mandate for those working fewer than 30 hours. The company’s decision to ditch health coverage for part-time employees follows similar moves by other major retailers last year, including Trader Joe’s and Home Depot.

HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said this morning that “employers have been dropping coverage for more than a decade, long preceding the Affordable Care Act.” In a statement, she noted that increases in premiums and health care costs have slowed in recent years and that with the health law, employees now “have the option of shopping in the [ACA] Marketplace for quality, affordable coverage, where they may be able to qualify for a tax credit to help pay for the cost.”

Target acknowledged its move will be jarring for some employees.

“We recognize this change may be better for some and also may cause disruption for those who previously elected to enroll in this benefit,” Kozlak wrote.

Target employees losing company coverage on April 1 will receive a one-time $500 payout, and the company is providing benefits counseling to those workers.



More Local

Two suspects arrested in homicides

Two suspects have been arrested and charged in Monday's double homicide on Widgeon Trail. Kenya Nneaka Sewell, 26, and Jarico Deshun Brown, ... Read More


Family, friends: Defendant is sleepwalker

Day four of the trial of Benjamin Tyler Gray for the alleged rape of a woman in Senoia saw his defense team call a DNA expert to the stand T ... Read More


Senoia Council

‘Walking Dead’ fence has to come down

The chain-link fence that has provided secure parking and storage for equipment used in the filming of “The Walking Dead” in dow ... Read More


Parent/Teacher Conferences

Ruth Hill to implement new model

Ruth Hill Elementary School was recently selected as one of 10 schools in Georgia to implement Academic Parent Teacher Teams, a new parent-t ... Read More


Defense draws judge’s ire in rape case

The trial of a Newnan man indicted for rape continued in Coweta County Superior Court early Monday. Attorneys were able to hear the testimon ... Read More

Rape Trial

Connections, memories part of testimony

Three witnesses were called to testify in Monday afternoon’s session of the trial of Benjamin Tyler Gray, 29, accused of rape after an ... Read More