Wal-Mart announced this week that it will be raising health insurance premiums for its employees and will end providing health insurance for part-time employees (those working under 30 hours per week). It probably isn’t news to anyone that the liberals will come out firing at Wal-Mart for being an evil corporation only out to make a profit.
Consider for a minute a few factors:
- The costs for its employee health insurance coverage is rising – some reports have it rising by as much as 50%. This is for the world’s largest retailer so they have a large pool which, if anything, should provide significant leverage for Wal-Mart to negotiate rates with health insurance providers.
- Wal-Mart reports that the lowest-cost plan that it provides employees will have about a 20% increase in employee-paid premiums.
- Wal-Mart isn’t the only retailer to do this: Target and Home Depot have announced reductions in benefits.
If you are reading this and thinking, “maybe the Affordable Care Act isn’t so affordable” then you might be on the right track. The ACA law requires that, by 2015, employers with over 100 employees offer a health care insurance plan to at least 70% of the company and that it doesn’t cost more than 9.5% of the employees annual salary. According to the annual Kaiser Employer Health benefits survey, the average premium for a single employee is roughly $6,000 annually and, on average, the employee pays $1,000 towards that (with the balance being covered by the employer). Family coverage is up to over $16,000 with employees contributing $5,000 towards it. Working a little math on these numbers, that means that the average salary needs to be $63,157 for a single-coverage employee and $168,421 for a family-coverage employee.*
For those who have never participated in the process of selecting a health insurance provider for a company, let me clue you in: it’s all a game of trade-offs. You take the demographic data and desires of the employees and then, essentially, shop the options. Wider doctor network? Higher cost or higher deductibles. More procedures covered? Same deal…or maybe offer a smaller network or a lower “level” of providers. Many employees don’t understand this. They think that they should be able to go to the doctor of their choice, not pay a deductible, not have a high co-pay and have every procedure covered…and, of course, not have premiums that they and their employer cover skyrocket through the roof. One word: fantasyland.
So brace yourselves as another round of cry-babies complain.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.