Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Check out WalMart's new joke of a Healthcare Plan for their employees
I really hope WalMart doesn't think they've actually been fooling anybody with their "family-friendly" bullshit b/c the new healthcare plans that will begin on Jan 1, 07 for all new WalMart employees are positively cutthroat (via WakeUpWalMart): "According to the 2007 WalMart Medical Benefits Booklet, as of Jan 07, Wal-Mart will only offer 2 health care options: 1) Catastrophic health care w/ multiple high deductibles (laughingly called the "Value Plan") and 2) Health Savings Accts, which new employees will not be immediately eligible for (laughingly renamed the "Freedom Plan"). By making this change, Wal-Mart is eliminating the Network Saver plans and the Standards for new hires, 2 plans which had much lower deductibles for employees and their families. In addition to eliminating all "low deductible" health care options for new hires, Wal-Mart is increasing premium costs for current employees by 8.3% for the Network Saver Plan, 7.6% for the Standard Plan, and 6.9% for the Freedom Plan, and charging a whopping $1800 a year "spousal surcharge" to deter spouses from being insured by Wal-Mart. Wow. That is certainly pro-family, no? I'm no psychic, but I'm willing to bet plenty of spouses AND children of WalMart employees simply remain uninsured or rely upon welfare when they get sick. Either way, it costs all of us b/c the tab has to be paid somehow, so it all comes out in the wash in the form of us paying for it in higher premiums. Despite Wal-Mart calling it a 'Value' plan, the plan includes multiple, expensive deductibles like a $300 pharmacy deductible and a $1000 in-patient deductible on top of the $1000 deductible the plan already has. And yes... WalMart verifies this new healthcare plan for new hires is correct, but offers this weak defense: "WalMart spokesman Dan Fogleman said the change was aimed at helping employees, after internal surveys showed that half of all workers w/ company insurance used up less than their full deductible last yr. Uhm, that wouldn't have anything to do w/the fact that people simply didn't go to the doctor b/c they couldn't afford to pay off the large deductible amount before their benefit coverage kicked in, now would it? "This meant they were paying more in premiums than they were getting out in benefits, and lower premiums mean more money left to cover the deductibles, the argument goes, and employees will be smart consumers of health care and go where prices are lower." Go where prices are lower? Like where exactly? Since when do people get to price shop when it comes to doctors or hospitals? Do doctors accept coupons? Is there a wholesale health clinic that I'm unaware of, perhaps called Crazy Eddie's where they'll deliver your baby at prices that are so low, you'll swear Dr Eddie is insane?