Trader Joe's Shifting Some Part-Timers to ObamaCare
Those under 30 hours will use insurance exchanges next year
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2013 7:17 PM CDT
Trader Joe's workers with fewer than 30 hours per week will move to health insurance under the ObamaCare exchanges next year.   (AP Photos/Ric Francis, File)

(Newser) – ObamaCare just became very real for some Trader Joe's employees. Part-timers who work fewer than 30 hours a week will no longer be covered by the company plan starting next year—instead, they will pick their insurance policy from the exchanges being created under the Affordable Care Act, reports the Huffington Post. The company, which has a sterling reputation in terms of the benefits it offers its part-time staff, will provide each worker with a $500 stipend. Between that "and the tax credits available under the ACA, many of you should be able to obtain health care coverage at very little if any net cost to you," says the company memo, obtained by HuffPo.

The story includes quotes from one affected worker understandably anxious over the move, and both critics and supporters of ObamaCare are starting to weigh in. On the right, John Nolte at Breitbart writes that it's a sign employers are afraid their health care costs will "explode" under ObamaCare and are looking to cut benefits. But at Think Progress, Sy Mukherjee argues that the "decision isn’t an indictment of the health law at all. In fact, it’s a definitive sign that ObamaCare is working as intended." We're finally on our way toward a "workable insurance market" for all the working poor, not just those lucky enough to work for conscientious companies, he writes. And based on current data, he thinks the affected TJ's workers might end up saving some money each month. (Similarly, IBM recently announced it would shift retirees to a health-insurance exchange.)

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Sep 25, 2013 6:56 PM CDT
This is kind of funny. We have a decent copay with CIGNA now. But in Jan 2014 it goes from $500 out of pocket to $2500. Its not illegal for the company to do that under Slumdumbocare. Look for other creative and interesting tweaks in the coming months.
Sep 16, 2013 10:54 PM CDT
Yesterday I received a notice that if I have access to medical insurance coverage and elect not to take it my federal taxes will increase the indicated amounts to pay for ACA: A minimum of $ 95 or 1% of my taxable income for 2014. So if my taxable income is less than $ 9500 I pay $ 95 otherwise 1% with no indicated maximum. For 2015 the minimum premium goes up 342% to $ 325 or 2% of my T.I., so if my T.I is less than $ 16,250 I'll pay $ 325 otherwise 2% again no maximum specified. In 2016 the minimum jumps another 214% to $ 695 or 2.5% so if my T.I. is less than $ 27,800 I pay $ 695 over that 2.5% again no indicated maximum. I can hardly wait to see what the years beyond 2016 cost me !! I am still wondering how this is different from a tax increase (which the administration vociferously claimed it was not). Some people, including illegals, don't file tax returns so they won't pay anything. About 50% get refunds or pay no taxes so they won't pay anything. The remaining 20-30% who still have jobs and have taxable incomes will have to pay more in taxes to cover all the other 70-80%. So those of you with jobs or taxable income had been either find better tax preparers or get ready to pay for everyone's FREE healthcare....and if you for a second believe that your mimimum "fair share contribution" will stop at 2.5% good luck!
Sep 13, 2013 1:26 AM CDT
And this is newsworthy how? Everyone's doing it. Since 0bama gave a waiver to corporate business, it's common practice. Business gets a pass, people don't.