Wal-Mart Shakes Up 2008 Health Care Benefits

September 18, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Wal-Mart has made some significant changes to its health care benefits this year, including an increased number of plan choices and premium choices and a decrease in prescription drug prices.

Some of the changes to the 2008 benefits package include, according to a Wal-Mart news release:

  • A greater number of health care plan choices that include more than 50 different ways for employees to personalize their health care coverage options, up from nine choices last year.
  • Associates who enroll in the Value Plan will receive an annual pre-deductible health care credit for each covered family member. They will be able to choose a $100, $250 or $500 credit that can be used to pay for covered medical expenses before costs are applied to the annual deductible. This means that the first $100, $250 or $500 in eligible medical expenses for each person covered by the plan is not paid by the participant.
  • Once the deductible is met, eligible expenses are typically covered by the plan at 80% in network and once the out-of-pocket maximum is met, the plan pays all eligible expenses.
  • Employees have a greater choice in health care premium, ranging from $5 to $79 per month.
  • Inpatient and outpatient hospital deductibles have been removed from the Value Plan this year, saving associates as much as $3,000 over the current Value Plan.
  • Associates will be able to get more than 2,400 different generic prescriptions for $4 as compared to less than 20 generic drugs last year at $3.

According to the press release, Wal-Mart will mail copies of an “Enrollment Made Easy” DVD to all employees, and employees can access enrollment materials online.

The company’s open enrollment period will start September 22, 2007.