Real consequences for real people:
Et tu, Wegmans? The Rochester-based grocer that has been continually lauded for providing health insurance to its part-time workers will no longer offer that benefit. Until recently, the company voluntarily offered health insurance to employees who worked 20 hours per week or more. Companies are required by law to offer health insurance only to full-time employees who work 30 hours or more per week. Several Wegmans employees confirmed part-time health benefits had been cut and said the company said the decision was related to changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act.
Part-time employees may actually benefit from Wegmans’ decision, according to Brian Murphy, a partner at Lawley Benefits Group, an insurance brokerage firm in Buffalo. “If you have an employee that qualifies for subsidized coverage, they might be better off going with that than a limited part-time benefit,” Murphy said. That’s because subsidized coverage can have a lower out-of-pocket cost for the insured employee while also providing better benefits than an employer-paid plan. Under the Affordable Care Act, part-time employees are not eligible for health insurance subsidies if their employer offers insurance. “It’s a win-win. The employee gets subsidized coverage, and the employer gets to lower costs,” Murphy said.