Now we know why Walmart to offer insurance shopping help | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Now we know why Walmart to offer insurance shopping help

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 3:58 PM

click to enlarge direct_health.jpg
This morning, the headline in the newspaper was that Walmart was going to make Rep. Nate Bell and other Obamacare foes tear their hair out by helping shoppers investigate health insurance coverage options and enroll in plans, including the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. Walmart will work with DirectHealth.com, an online health insurance comparison site, to offer the help at enrollment kiosks in 2,700 stores.

This afternoon, we know the reason for Walmart's beneficence: Starting Jan. 1, Walmart will not offer health insurance to employees who work less than 30 hours a week. The corporation's headline on its website announcement of cuts: "Providing Quality Health Benefits for Our Associates." (I was surprised it was still offering health insurance to part-timers.) But these folks will be able to use the store's insurance kiosks to find insurance elsewhere.

ACAsignups.net has a good roundup of events, including information that suggests DirectHealth.com agents will have to pay $500 to work at Walmart. And Forbes says Walmart plans to get in the health care business itself:

“Our goal is to be the number one health-care provider in the industry,” Diab told the Washington Post‘s Sarah Halzack. “And the more we broaden our assortment, the more we broaden our offering, the more we educate the customer Walmart is a great place to create a one-stop shop.”


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