30K Walmart Part-Timers to Lose Health Insurance
If they're not working an average of 30 hours or more a week, they won't be eligible
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2014 12:40 PM CDT
An outdoors sign for Walmart is seen.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – As of Jan. 1, Walmart will no longer offer 30,000 of its employees health insurance. Bloomberg notes that's about 2% of its workforce. The move comes as a reaction to the company's rising health care costs as far more of its employees and their families enrolled in its health care plans than it had expected following the ObamaCare rollout. The AP reports those costs will surge $500 million this fiscal year, $170 million more than had been estimated. Those affected are employees who average fewer than 30 hours of work per week; the Wall Street Journal explains they were grandfathered in when Walmart in 2012 stopped offering insurance to new hires who didn't exceed the 30-hour threshold.

A benefits expert says Walmart is actually late to the game in terms of cutting insurance to some part-time workers; Target, the Home Depot, and others have already done so. Meanwhile, Walmart's full time workers will see their premiums rise in 2015. Premiums for the basic plan, which 40% of its workforce is on, will increase 19% to $21.90 per pay period come Jan. 1.