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Obamacare to Jack Up Insurance Premiums: WalMart

If you haven’t already heard from your employer about open enrollment — well, brace yourself. Premiums are high and rising. According to a survey from the National Business Group on Health, employers expect their health insurance costs to increase 7%. And, 60% of those employers plan to ask workers to pay higher monthly premiums.

Case in point, WalMart stores – the Bentonville, Arkansas based retailer and the nation’s largest employer – will ask employees to pay premiums that are eight% to 36% more next year. The company has said if you average costs over the more than one million employees who are covered – workers’ contributions will rise just 4.4%. According to an Aon Hewitt survey, premiums will rise 9% on average nationally.

WalMart says it is trying to cope with rising medical costs which make up a huge chunk of the retailer’s costs. The company has gone so far as announcing the opening of six health centers where it will offer free heart and spine surgery to most employees.

Even so, many employees are expected to drop coverage because of the higher costs.

WalMart’s most popular associate-only medical plan will cost $17.40 per two-week pay period in 2013, up $2 from 2012. Average plan cost across the country is $79 dollars per month for single coverage. WalMart’s moves are seen as a blueprint for other employers who are trying to manage their costs while also preparing to meet the requirements of Obamacare.

Remember, health-care reform was supposed to keep costs low and quality of care the same or better. But increasingly, it’s clear the industry is changing dramatically even before all parts of the law go into effect. What’s more, the unintended consequences aren’t good. Obamacare was supposed to ensure everyone gets covered while keeping costs low, but already WalMart employees are saying they will drop out of company plans – meaning more people will burden emergency rooms. And costs aren’t declining; they are rising.

You have to admire WalMart for being so creative and so even-handed — the brass in Bentonville are offered the same health plan as warehouse workers in Cincinnati, Ohio.

But the story exposes Obamacare for what it is — a plan without a vision for doing what’s needed.

Obamacare may be the law of the land. But it should be overturned.


  1. Windy November 14, 2012

    Alright, thank you.

  2. Roberta November 23, 2012

    I don’t know what type insurance plan Walmart has for it’s employees. Maybe it’s not a very good plan. The company I work for had it’s insurance to increase by 11% for 2013. In the past my employer has paid the cost of insurance for salaried employees; but is thinking about having employees to share the cost by paying 50%. The insurance premiums are based on age and I personally will be looking at paying $162.09 biweekly, with the biweekly amount increasing to $210.90 in April because I will then be in a new age bracket. And this is with the deductible increasing from $500 to $1,000.00

  3. Nikki November 27, 2012

    Employers already ask employees to contribute more when Insurance premiums go up now. So how is Obamacare changing this? Also keep in mind Insurance companies will try and get all that they can in raising prices until Obamacare is in full effect. They have to find ways to rape the lower/middle income class before the ball drops and they have to not only provide better service but also better healthcare!

  4. cowboy January 17, 2013

    I would like to know how many people out there can remember the last time they were given an 18% increase in their wages. So far are health care has risen 39% in the last 3 yrs. Neither I or my wife have even seen a cost of living raise in over 3yrs. What gives these company’s and the government the right to take more and more of the money we earn. When you provit over 18 million a year don’t you think it’s unfair to the people that help you make that kind of money. You promise to give 100,000 vets a job because they served our country (which I praise them for), do you think your doing them a favor when you’ll just put them in a poverty level.

  5. Anonymous August 28, 2013

    I work at Wal-Mart just for me I pay $120. 00 per month just for medical $2000 deductible and $5000 out of pocket, So if I got sick it would cost me all in all $8440.00 or an Wal-Mart employee , average pay per year , maybe $20,000 per years before taxes and ss medicated dental and any other insurances, now how can you call this affordable health care? have insurance but I can’t afford health care, only ones making out is the insurance companies.