Target Corp. stops health coverage to part-time workers

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Minneapolis, MN, United States (4E) – Target Corp. said it will halt offering health insurance for part-time employees, becoming the latest major retailer to have scaled back benefits as a result of changes from Obamacare.

Beginning April 1, Target will no longer cover part-time employees, according to a company’s blog post citing human resources chief Jodee Kozlak. Less than 10 percent of the retailer’s 360,000 workforce are enrolled in the plan that is being discontinued. Those employees will be provided $500 for the termination of their coverage.

The U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, does not require most businesses to offer health plans to part-time workers, and covering them may disqualify those people from subsidies in new government-backed health-insurance marketplaces.

Target said the exchanges could provide options its part-time workers may choose from.

According to the company’s website, many of Target’s part-time workers may prefer coverage from the insurance exchanges, and that by offering them coverage, the company actually make many of them ineligible for subsidies.

For Target employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week, coverage will end April 1, and open enrollment for 2014 under the health law closes a day earlier.

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