Following in the footsteps of UPS national retail chains Home Depot and Walgreen’s have both announced drastic cuts to their employees’ health benefits. Home Depot is getting rid of healthcare coverage for their part-time employees while Walgreen’s is cutting healthcare for all employees.
In both cases, the chains are encouraging employees to purchase coverage from state healthcare exchanges mandated by the Affordable Healthcare Act more colloquially as Obamacare. Now in Walgreen’s defense, they will be paying their employees an additional amount to the purchase their insurance but I would lay odds that it won’t be near enough to buy any kind of substantial coverage. Home Depot is just letting their part-timers twist in the wind.
Meanwhile, the exchanges that are supposed to go live on October, 1st are either nowhere near ready or don’t even exist yet. Tick-tock.
As I’ve mentioned time and time again if you really want to make healthcare affordable the markets in each state need to be opened to more competition. It always seems that one or two insurance companies have a stranglehold on in each state. Think about it this way. Why do most towns and cities only have one cable TV provider? That’s because cable providers make exclusive deals with the city governments that lockout most competition. I would bet that insurance companies are following the same tactic except on a state level.