Wal-Mart said Tuesday that it will end coverage for employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week. The decision affects 2% of the retailer's U.S. workforce of 1.4 million.
For those losing coverage come Jan. 1, the Bentonville, Ark., firm said it will work with an outside company to help workers find “the right, affordable health care.”
“We don’t make these decisions lightly, and the fact remains that our plans exceed those of our peers in the retail industry,” Sally Welborn, senior vice president of global benefits at Wal-Mart wrote in a blog post.
Retailers have been cutting back on health insurance for part-timers as the federal
In 2012, Wal-Mart stopped offering healthcare to new hires working fewer than 30 hours a week. Tuesday’s announcement affects those who were grandfathered in.
The Affordable Care Act requires large companies to offer health insurance to employees who work an average of 30 hours or more a week.
In some ways, those working fewer than 30 hours can do better with federal premium subsidies or by enrolling in
However, as some companies have cut workers' hours to get below the 30-hour threshold, or stopped coverage they previously offered such part-timers, criticism has mounted that employers have simply dumped workers onto the government dole.
On Tuesday, Wal-Mart also announced workers will see a healthcare premium increase, with its most popular and lowest-cost plan set to increase by $3.50 a pay period to $21.90.