You can keep your plan: Walgreens is set to become one of the largest employers yet to make sweeping changes to company-backed health programs, the Wall Street Journal reported. The drugstore giant plans to provide payments to eligible employees for the subsidized purchase of insurance starting in 2014. The plan will affect roughly 160,000 employees, and will require them to shop for coverage in the health-care exchanges set to launch on Oct. 1. Aside from rising health-care costs, the company blamed compliance-related expenses associated with the Affordable Care Act. Atlanta-based Home Depot announced Thursday it is sending 20,000 part-timers to the health care exchanges, Bloomberg News reported. On Wednesday, Reuters reported that the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, which employees 44,000, announced it is cutting jobs and $330 million from its budget.
You will have insurance. Or not: The number of people who lacked health coverage fell slightly to 48 million in 2012, from 48.6 million in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Income & Poverty report. The rise in the uninsured over the past decade was largely due to population growth, immigration, the recession and – in some instances – individual choice. Proponents of ObamaCare hoped it would achieve near-universal coverage but estimates are that the ACA will cover less than half of the uninsured. The reasons include: an unenforced individual mandate, perverse regulations, a delayed employer mandate and exchanges, rising costs, limited Medicaid expansion and immigrants excluded from the mandate. Source: Devon M. Herrick, National Center for Policy Analysis
Learn more at www.gppf.org. Reprinted with permission of GA Public Policy Foundation.