Tag Archives: part-time workers

A compelling question: Will employees ask small employers to drop health coverage?

Brian Kalish posed this question in an article in Employee Benefit News on Sept. 24. Kalish was quoting Rodger Bayne, president of Benefit Indemnity Corp., of Towson, Md., who was a speaker at the Benefits Forum and Expo, a conference in New Orleans.

“In the not-so-distant future small employers may stop offering employer-sponsored health coverage because employees will demand it,” Kalish reported. Low-income employees who get employer-sponsored coverage might be eligible for subsidies on the exchanges, making the exchange coverage more attractive than their employer-sponsored benefits, he wrote.

Not only are the exchanges advantageous for employees of small businesses, but they are attractive for similar reasons to large employers with part timers, particularly low-wage workers eligible for subsidies.

Grocery retailer Trader Joe’s said it will move part timers working fewer than 30 hours a week to private exchanges on Jan. 1 and give them $500 a year instead of the fairly generous benefit plan they have now, as Dave Jamieson reported in The Huffington Post. Sarah Kliff at The Washington Post’s WonkBlog explained that Trader Joe’s part timers might be better off in the exchanges if they qualify for subsidies under Obamacare. As Kliff has reported, employers do not get penalized if they do not provide health insurance coverage to employees working fewer than 30 hours a week. Continue reading