Friday, January 10, 2014

Walmart Health Plan Better Than ObamaCare

Despite the fact that unions and activists have called Walmart's health plan "substandard" and claimed that the company does not provide health benefits, Walmart's health plan is more affordable and provides much better access to quality care than does ObamaCare, says Richard Pollock in the Washington Examiner.

The National Association of Health Underwriters and health policy experts compared the two plans.
  • Walmart offers its employees three options: a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), an HRA High plan (which has higher out-of-pocket costs but lower deductibles), and a Health Savings Account plan (a high-deductible but tax-advantaged plan).
  • An HRA plan has individual monthly premiums as low as $40 (and family coverage for $160 per month) for a full-service BlueCross BlueShield preferred provider organization.
  • Walmart's plan has no income eligibility requirements, does not change depending upon age and gender, and all of its 1.1 million employees -- from cashiers to the CEO -- have the same plan.
Unsubsidized ObamaCare enrollees, on the other hand, will see monthly premiums that are five to nine times higher than Walmart premiums, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association:
  • A Walmart premium for a nonsmoking, 60-year-old couple would cost $134 per month. The unsubsidized ObamaCare premium for that same couple could cost $1,365 per month.
  • Similarly, a family of four could pay a $962 premium under ObamaCare but only a $160 premium under the Walmart plan.
  • For a 30-year-old smoker, ObamaCare could cost up to $428 per month, while a Walmart employee would pay $70 per month.
Moreover, Walmart employees have access to eight of the United States' most prestigious hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic. Most ObamaCare exchange plans do not have access to these hospitals.

Walmart also provides much better access for its employees.
  • In Chicago, the BlueChoice ObamaCare exchange network only has 28 hospitals, while the Walmart network has 54 hospitals.
  • Similarly, Chicago has 9,837 doctors under ObamaCare, while the Walmart network provides access to 24,904 doctors.
Source: Richard Pollock, "Surprise! Walmart Health Plan Is Cheaper, Offers More Coverage Than ObamaCare," Washington Examiner, January 7, 2014. Summarized by the National Center for Policy Analysis.