Wal-Mart said Tuesday it will end healthcare benefits for some part-time workers.

By Andrew Khouri
October 7, 2014

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is cutting healthcare benefits for roughly 30,000 part-time employees, citing rising costs.

Wal-Mart said Tuesday that it will end coverage for employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week. The decision affects 2% of the retailer’s U.S. workforce of 1.4 million.

For those losing coverage come Jan. 1, the Bentonville, Ark., firm said it will work with an outside company to help workers find “the right, affordable health care.”

“We don’t make these decisions lightly, and the fact remains that our plans exceed those of our peers in the retail industry,” Sally Welborn, senior vice president of global benefits at Wal-Mart wrote in a blog post.

Retailers have been cutting back on health insurance for part-timers as the federal healthcare law continues its roll-out.

In January, Target Corp. said it would stop offering health insurance to part-time workers, partly because employees could probably get cheaper — and in some cases better — coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Home Depot Inc. made a similar announcement several months earlier.

In 2012, Wal-Mart stopped offering healthcare to new hires working fewer than 30 hours a week. Tuesday’s announcement affects those who were grandfathered in.

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