Wal-Mart Rolling Back Part-Time Employees’ Benefits

October 21, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The New York Times is reporting that Wal-Mart is substantially rolling back health care coverage for part-time workers and significantly raising premiums for many full-time staff.

According to the news report, citing rising costs, Wal-Mart told its employees this week that all future part-time employees who work less than 24 hours a week on average will no longer qualify for any of the company’s health insurance plans. In addition, any new employees who average 24 hours to 33 hours a week will no longer be able to include a spouse as part of their health care plan, although children can still be covered.   

The retail giant just increased benefits for part-time associates in 2008 after being criticized for having so many employees on Medicaid (see Wal-Mart Announces Increase in Employees with Health Care Coverage).  

The company said the changes were not a result of the new federal health care law.  

“Over the last few years, we’ve all seen our health care rates increase, and it’s probably not a surprise that this year will be no different. We made the difficult decision to raise rates that will affect our associates’ medical costs. The decisions made were not easy, but they strike a balance between managing costs and providing quality care and coverage,” said Greg Rossiter, a Wal-Mart spokesman, according to the Times.