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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Target throws part-timers onto the Exchanges, with $500 make-good payment


Target Corp. will end health insurance for part-time employees in April, joining Trader Joe’s Co., Home Depot Inc. and other U.S. retailers that have scaled back benefits in response to changes from Obamacare.

About 10 percent of part-time employees, defined as those working fewer than 30 hours a week, use Target’s health plans now....

“Health-care reform is transforming the benefits landscape and affecting how all employers, including Target, administer health benefits coverage,” Jodee Kozlak, Target’s executive vice president of human resources, said in yesterday’s web posting. She cited “new options available for our part-time team, and the historically low number of team members who elected to enroll in the part-time plan.”

No Target workers will see their hours cut as part of the change, she said. A Target spokeswoman, Jill Hornbacher, wouldn’t say how many part-time workers the company employs, saying in an e-mail that the number “fluctuates often.”

The company wouldn’t disclose how much it spends on health benefits or how much the change would save, or what part-timers pay for their insurance, Hornbacher said.

The Affordable Care Act created new government-run health insurance exchanges to sell coverage to uninsured people, often with premiums discounted by federal subsidies. It disqualifies Americans for subsidies at the exchanges if they have an offer of “affordable” coverage from their employers, defined as an insurance premium less than 9.5 percent of their income.

Target plans a one-time $500 payment to part-timers losing coverage and a consulting firm will help those workers sign up for new Obamacare plans. It said on its website that many part-time workers may prefer coverage from the health law’s exchanges, and that by offering them insurance, “we could actually disqualify many of them from being eligible” for subsidies.

So if ObamaCare is preferable, how come the payment? And I love how Target has to fund a consultant to get the part-timers signed up. Guess the website isn't all that much like Expedia.

Oh, and I almost forgot: Full-timers, you're next.

NOTE Of course, with single payer, none of this would be happening (and, to be fair, the consulting firm wouldn't be getting their fees, and the HR VP wouldn't be justifying their large salary with useless work). With single payer, you'd get health care because you were a citizen. Just too damn simple, of course.

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Submitted by transcriber on

Also don't expect a raise? Remembering what Marcy Wheeler said earlier about Obamacare incentive for corporations to pay poverty wages and move employees to part-time:

Marcy Wheeler on...Walmart and Obamacare

One complaint I had from the very beginning, and I was screaming about it at the time, was that if you’re a corporation, the only way to get health care for your employees provided for free is to ensure that they are poor, that they stay under that 122% of poverty level that means that they can get Medicaid for free, because the Medicaid’s always going to be better than what they would provide, and they qualify. And we knew – I mean, Walmart was at the table when they were designing Obamacare, and we knew even then that Walmart relied on Medicaid in those states, and California is one of them, in those states where the qualification level was high enough such that people who worked could actually get Medicaid as well, so we had to expect that, you know, this was one of the primary things that Walmart was interested in doing. So what’s happened since? Walmart has moved a bunch of people to part-time, ensuring that they don’t qualify for Walmart’s own healthcare system, and also ensuring that they’re too poor, that they’re poor enough that they’re going to qualify for the Medicaid in the states where it’s been expanded. And so basically what we’ve done is given huge employers an incentive to pay their people poverty wages. And we’ve seen that roll out.

Submitted by hipparchia on

this is kind of a nothingburger.

for years, lots of large corporations have been supplying "health insurance" to their part-time low-wage workers via "mini-med" plans. the worker's portion of the premium totals something like $500-1000 per year and the benefits are capped at ridiculously low levels, like $2000 in the case of mcdonalds' cheapest plan. that's fine if all you ever need is a few visits to the doctor for flu shots, or for antibiotics, but get cancer, or a heart attack, or even a broken leg and $2000 is basically useless.

I couldn't find any confirmation that target was among them, but if home depot, cvs, staples, Disney and mcdonalds have all been doing this...

obamacare is still underinsurance, but it's not the downright craptastic "insurance" that mini-med plans are, which is why obamacare basically outlaws these plans beginning this year. you can still buy it and use it as supplemental insurance, but it's never been REAL medical insurance.