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

Designated shooter encouraged

Officials urge safe use of fireworks

With fireworks now legal in Georgia, officials and fireworks manufacturers want to make sure Georgians take safety seriously. Under the law, ... Read More


Young readers may win college money

The Coweta County Public Library System is one of the many library systems across the state that is partnering with the Path2College 529 Pla ... Read More


Plenty of July 4 options on tap

There are lots of events on the calendar Saturday as Cowetans prepare to celebrate Independence Day. • Puckett Station Arts and Crafts ... Read More


Supreme Court: EPA must consider costs of pollution regulations

After a five to four split decision on Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency this week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the EPA must take ... Read More


Woman dies in fiery crash

A 44-year-old woman lost her life in a fiery crash Wednesday night after she lost control of her vehicle and collided with a tree. About 6:5 ... Read More

NASCAR tracks unite, ask fans not to fly Confederate flag

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR's national series tracks announced Thursday that they are asking fans to refrain from displaying the ... Read More