Walmart raises health care costs for 1.3 million workers

Oct 8, 2014 | Healthcare Industry News

As we discussed in out last article, rising health care costs do not affect all Americans equally. Low-income workers feel the most financial pressure, as rising costs continue to eat up a larger portion of their total salary. 

Walmart, the nation's largest private employer, has announced its decision to increase health insurance premiums for its more than 1.3 million workers. The mega-corporation will also end health insurance benefits entirely for about 30,000 of its part-time staff who work fewer than 30 hours a week. According to Reuters, these changes will impact approximately 2 percent of the total U.S. workforce. 

The changes were made as Walmart and other organizations prepare for the January deadline for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Under new regulations, companies that employ more than 50 people will have to offer coverage to those who work at least 30 hours a week. 

"Like every company, Wal-Mart continues to face rising health care costs," Sally Welborn, senior vice president of global benefits, wrote in a blog post on the company's website. "This year, the expenses were significant and led us to make some tough decisions as we begin our annual enrollment."

As we draw nearer to the January deadline, many organizations will face hard choices on how to best manage their finances and their employees health care needs. However, if Walmart's example is followed, health insurance claims management may begin to experience a backlog of accounts receivable. The decision to outsource receivables management can help to alleviate the multiple issues caused by mounting bad debt, as well as provide a more manageable claims load for in-house staff.