Wegman, a northeastern grocery store with a reputation for treating its employees well, announced that it would reduce health-care benefits for some part-time workers in 2015, a year after Obamacare is effective.
Wegman’s decision to cut benefits
The grocery store joins a host of other large businesses that have retooled in anticipation of the Affordable Health Care Act. Some have been criticized for reducing employee hours to avoid paying for health benefits under the new legislation.
However, experts said it’s possible that the store’s move could actually benefit workers.
Wegman, which has landed on Fortune’s list of best companies to work for in the past 15 years, was fast to defend the decisions.
Benefits as required by the law
“Even though the new health care law is requiring some changes, we are not going to do anything that will hurt our employees,” read Jo Natale’s e-mail statement, spokesperson for the company.
Natale said Wegmans presently offers health-care coverage to part-time staff working at least 20 hours every week, but beginning in 2015 will only offer benefits to those who are working 30 hours or more a week, as required by the Obamacare law.
“Low income people are probably better off getting insurance through Obamacare law than through their jobs,” said Paul Fronstin, the director of the Health Research Program at the Employee Benefit Research Institute.