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Walmart has plan options with cheap premiums but high deductibles.
Walmart’s 2011 health care offerings include cheap premiums of $32.70 per pay period for family coverage – or $850.20 per year – however, this plan has a high annual deductible of $4,400. In addition, Walmart Associates covered by the health plan face a $10,000 out-of-pocket maximum. This is greater than the average of $7,096 for other plans of this type in 2010, the last year for which data is available.

High deductibles mean high costs for workers and their families.

  • For benefit year 2011, Walmart’s basic health insurance plan for families includes a $1,000 contribution from Walmart to a health reimbursement account (HRA), which can be used for eligible expenses but cannot be used for prescriptions.
  • After a family uses up the HRA, they would have to pay a total of $5,250.20 of their own money for the $4,400 annual deductible and ongoing $32.70 bi-weekly premium before Walmart’s insurance starts contributing anything toward healthcare costs again.
  • For a family whose only income comes from a Walmart Associate making the company’s self-reported full-time average wage of $11.75 an hour, this equals over 25% of their annual income.
  • If you consider the $10,000 out-of-pocket maximum in addition to the $850.20 annual premium, that same family could pay over 52% of their income in a year for healthcare.1

Walmart’s health care plan failed to cover nearly 700,000 associates in 2010.
In 2010, Walmart’s health insurance covered only 54% of their Associates. Walmart has over 1.4 million US Associates.

Walmart has admitted that public assistance is a “better value.”
Despite over $12 billion in profits, former President and CEO Lee Scott admitted in 2005, “In some of our states, the public program may actually be a better value – with relatively high income limits to qualify, and low premiums.”

Taxpayers are forced to step in to cover Walmart’s Associates.
Tens of thousands of Associates qualify for Medicaid and other publicly subsidized care. Indeed, according to data compiled by Good Jobs First, in 21 of 23 states which have disclosed information, Walmart has the largest number of employees on the public rolls of any employer.

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  1. These calculations were performed for a family whose sole income is from a Walmart Associate earning the Walmart average full-time wage of $11.75/hour and working an average of 34 hours a week for 52 weeks a year.