Wegmans cuts benefits as Obamacare looms
Known for treating its employees well, the supermarket chain will end health insurance for part-timers in 2015. That might not be so bad, though.
It's one thing when a fast-food company cuts back on employment in response to Obamacare, but Wegmans' decision to reduce benefits has got to hurt. After all, burger joints aren't often thought of as benefits-laden employers.
But Wegmans, an East Coast supermarket chain, has built a loyal following not only for its well-stocked stores but for its generous benefits. Now it's cutting health insurance for part-time workers starting in 2015. The reason? Obamacare.
Privately held Wegmans had offered health insurance to workers with at least 20 hours a week, Syracuse.com reports. Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are required to offer health insurance only to full-time employees with 30 hours or more a week.
"This change will not take effect for our existing part-time employees until 2015," Wegmans said. "We have met one-on-one with each impacted employee to reassure them and to let them know we are going to do everything we can to help them through these changes."
While the ACA goes into effect next year, the Obama administration earlier this month said it would postpone until 2015 the requirement that large employers provide health insurance to full-time workers.
Wegmans' decision is likely to provide support to the law's detractors, who argue that the health insurance overhaul will increase costs for businesses and potentially hurt workers if employers cut hours or pay as a result.
Adding to the fuel is Wegmans' reputation as a generous employer. CBS News in 2011 praised the company's efforts to make its 41,000 employees "happy, well cared-for and given extensive avenues for growth." That includes benefits such as flexible scheduling, a scholarship program and adoption assistance.
The bright side for part-time Wegmans employees? They might be better off under Obamacare, given the subsidies that will be available based on income level, one insurance expert told the Buffalo News.
Brian Murphy, a partner at the insurance brokerage Lawley Benefits Group, told the publication, "If you have an employee that qualifies for subsidized coverage, they might be better off going with that than a limited part-time benefit."
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
Liberals pass laws without thinking of the real world consequences as they are so delusional that they are right 100% of the time. They think like a 6 year old.
Funny thing, most of these lower wage workers probably voted for Obama and his ACA. Karma is a bitch.
Why should I work?
I'm still waiting for the Biitch Pelosi to read the bill to let us know if it's good or bad.
I work at a large aerospace company with a Cadillac plan. Best insurance on the market, but the costs have skyrocketed to the employee while the coverage has declined. All due to the $10,000 a year cap annually per employee .
This means if the company pays more than $10,000 a year per employee Obamacare will place a fine (tax) on that company per employee to help fund this new law. My company paid $12,000, now its under $10,000.
Way to punish the some of the last great company's out there.
The biggest problems with Omabacare is it creates new problems - which won't be seen until after he is out.
Wait until you can't find a doctor or better yet, does not takes your insurance and accepts cash only...
Now working people pay more to get less or die waiting to see a doctor.
The law needs to import 100,000 foreign doctors to care for the new roles...or pay for new doctors to be educated...but of course reality sucks and people are going to die waiting...
This will be better for probably most of the employees as their part time income will give them tax credits and subsidies for coverage under the exchanges which is probably as good or better then what their employer offered. The employer does not have to offer insurance to part time people.
But this is one of the major reasons this whole system will collapse. Call it what you want, it is not cost control. It was to provide access to health care and is now paying for the premiums for a number of people because of the tax credits and subsidies. Someone has to pay for that. Call it a tax credit or subsidy it is an entitlement. Either the plans will reduce benefits rather then increase premiums or the threashold of 400% of the poverty level test will be decreased. You can't put in what is basically becoming nationalized insurance without paying for it. And there are no mechanisms in place that will nearly cover that cost.
I will now be the third person posting the same question:
If they are already giving insurance to workers at 20 hours, how does a requirement that they do so starting at 30 hours hurt them? They are already giving those employees insurance. What am I missing?
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