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News & Politics News & Politics

Another company cutting benefits because of Obamacare. . .

Posted by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 12:03 PM
  • 37 Replies
4 moms liked this

I know there has been an ongoing conversation about the private sector's response to the ACA.  I came across this and thought some of you would be interested in how at least one company is handling it. 

(Also, I have a soft spot for any company that's paying $18/hour for low-skilled labor.  I really do.)

Trader Joe's cut health benefits last week. Here's there side of the story.

By Sarah Kliff, Published: September 16 at 4:49 pm.

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AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Paul Chinn)

(AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Paul Chinn)

Last week I wrote about Trader Joe's decision to cut health insurance benefits for employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week. After that, one reader forwarded along a response received from Trader Joe's after inquiring about the matter. It's one of the more thorough explanations I've seen from a company cutting in benefits, so I've posted it here. It acknowledges, surprisingly bluntly, that some employees will be worse off for the decision and that others might benefit. Here is the full response:

Thank you for writing to us. It's possible you have been misled, at least to some degree, by the headlines in some articles regarding our reasons for implementing the [Affordable Care Act] in January. We'd like to take this opportunity to clarify some facts.

For over 77% of our Crew Members there is absolutely no change to their healthcare coverage provided by Trader Joe's.

The ACA brings a new potential player into the arena for the acquisition of health care. Stated quite simply, the law is centered on providing low cost options to people who do not make a lot of money. Somewhat by definition, the law provides those people a pretty good deal for insurance ... a deal that can't be matched by us -- or any company. However, an individual employee (we call them Crew Member) is only able to receive the tax credit from the exchanges under the act if we do not offer them insurance under our company plan.

Perhaps an example will help. A Crew Member called in the other day and was quite unhappy that she was being dropped from our coverage unless she worked more hours. She is a single mom with one child who makes $18 per hour and works about 25 hours per week. We ran the numbers for her. She currently pays $166.50 per month for her coverage with Trader Joe's. Because of the tax credits under the ACA she can go to an exchange and purchase insurance that is almost identical to our plan for $69.59 per month. Accordingly, by going to the exchange she will save $1,175 each year ... and that is before counting the $500 we will give her in January.

While we understand her fear of change, at her income level this is a big benefit that we will help her achieve.

Clearly, there are others who will go to the exchanges and will be required to pay more. That is usually because they have other income and typically a spouse who had a job with no benefits and they do not qualify for the subsidies under the ACA.

One example of that we had yesterday was the male Crew Member who worked an average of 20 hours per week but had a spouse who is a contract consultant who makes more than $200,000 per year. The Crew Member worked for the medical benefits and unfortunately for them they are likely to have to pay more because of their real income. We understand how important healthcare coverage is to our Crew Members and we are pleased to be able to provide and support this program.

We do hope this information helps, and we appreciate your interest in Trader Joe's.

by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 12:03 PM
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Replies (1-10):
-Celestial-
by Platinum Member on Sep. 17, 2013 at 12:09 PM
3 moms liked this


Quote:

She currently pays $166.50 per month for her coverage with Trader Joe's. Because of the tax credits under the ACA she can go to an exchange and purchase insurance that is almost identical to our plan for $69.59 per month.

Exactly what the ACA is for. Great story
Sisteract
by Socialist Hippie on Sep. 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Fear of change says it all.

Good on TJs for trying to educate people-

OH and the 20/hr/wk worker, can afford HC coverage via his wife's 200,000/yrly income.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 17, 2013 at 1:08 PM
1 mom liked this

That surprises you?!

Many of us saw this coming 5 years ago.

Welcome to reality.

tsk tsk

MsDenuninani
by Bronze Member on Sep. 17, 2013 at 1:39 PM
2 moms liked this

 Taking a second to quote, lest you read the post and want to reconsider your response.


Quoting SallyMJ:

That surprises you?!

Many of us saw this coming 5 years ago.

Welcome to reality.

tsk tsk


 

JanuaryBaby06
by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 1:49 PM
1 mom liked this

this is posted somewhere else on here as well... but idc i could read this all day! nothing is better then a company that cares for their employees! treat others how youd wanna be treated & trader joes walks the walk!

NWP
by Guerilla Girl on Sep. 17, 2013 at 1:55 PM
1 mom liked this

My apologies MsDenuninani for stealing your post from the other group when I didn't see this posted in here.

A lot of these ladies really need to read this letter, so I'm glad they have two chances to do so:)


NWP
by Guerilla Girl on Sep. 17, 2013 at 1:59 PM
1 mom liked this

LOL

Quoting SallyMJ:

That surprises you?!

Many of us saw this coming 5 years ago.

Welcome to reality.

tsk tsk


National Woman's Party


Sisteract
by Socialist Hippie on Sep. 17, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Ditto.

Quoting NWP:

LOL

Quoting SallyMJ:

That surprises you?!

Many of us saw this coming 5 years ago.

Welcome to reality.

tsk tsk



jadedcynic
by Nerdilicious on Sep. 17, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Did you actually read it? It sounds like Trader Joe's is in favor of the ACA and just wants to make sure their employees are getting the best deal. This may be their plan, or it could be through the exchange.

Quoting SallyMJ:

That surprises you?!

Many of us saw this coming 5 years ago.

Welcome to reality.

tsk tsk


aeon_elyse
by Member on Sep. 17, 2013 at 4:52 PM


Do come back and share your thoughts once you've actually read the article.

Quoting SallyMJ:

That surprises you?!

Many of us saw this coming 5 years ago.

Welcome to reality.

tsk tsk



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