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← Criticism of Wal-MartThe Major Advantages of Business-to-Business Marketing on the Internet →

Debate and Webliography

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The First Statement

Wal-Mart is not doing well with its health insurance policies which leads to employee protests and their inability to afford health insurance plans. Wal-Mart cuts benefits heavily for its employees and their families.

Arguments:

Health insurance coverage offered by Wal-Mart has been significantly rolled back, and premiums were raised for both part-time and full-time employees over the last year (Greenhouse, Abelson, 2011);

The healthcare expenses of Wal-Mart have halved: $500 down to $250 for single employees; $1,000 down to $500 for families (Wohl, 2011);

Premiums for Wal-Mart`s insurances have risen by 63% for non-smokers and by 162% for smokers;

The price of some of Wal-Mart`s healthcare plans in 2012 is raised from 77% to 104% of the worker`s gross annual income (Making change at Wal-Mart`s statistics);

The Second Statement

Only some categories of employees can be qualified for Wal-Mart`s health insurance plans. Wal-Mart`s health insurance policy was changed in October, 2011. A lot of benefits were heavily cut.

Arguments:

Wal-Mart stopped providing part-time employees who work less than 24 hours per week with health insurance plans (Wohl, 2011);

New employees who work from 24 to 33 hours per week are not allowed to include a spouse into their health care plans (Greenhouse, Abelson, 2011);

It is only possible to get health care insurance after working at Wal-Mart for one year for all the categories of workers (Greenhouse, Abelson, 2011);

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According to Wal-Mart`s 2012 health insurance policy, insurance rates were raised from 40% (Greenhouse, Abelson, 2011) to 50% (Wohl, 2011) for some plans;

Along with payments for insurance coverage, deductibles (payments which are not made by insurer) increased to 20% of the annual pay (Greenhouse, Abelson, 2011);

Increased health insurance payments for smokers (Wohl, 2011);

The Third Statement

Negative consequences of Wal-Mart`s health insurance policy for the employees and society are the following:

Employees need to spend more on their insurance coverage now since the rates have risen, or they cannot afford it at all. Example: there is a case of a Wal-Mart`s employee who used to pay $53.80 a year for her health insurance, but now she is charged $3,325 a year out of $12,000 salary she earns annually (Greenhouse, Abelson, 2011);

only 1 million out of 1.4 million of Wal-Mart`s employees (Wohl, 2011)  can afford their insurances (Murphy, 2008);

Wal-Mart provided less than 50% of employees with their healthcare plans in 2009 when insurance rates were twice cheaper (Making change at Wal-Mart`s statistics);

More employees now are failing to qualify for health insurance coverage by Wal-Mart’s policies (Ryan, 2010);

The Fourth Statement

Some competitors of Wal-Mart are doing much better than Wal-Mart.

Arguments:

Unlike Wal-Mart, about 42% of big employers provide part-time and full-time employees with full package of benefits (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2011);

On average, large companies provide 66% of their workers with health insurance plans (less than 50% at Wal-Mart) (Freeman, Ticknor, 2003);

Well-known retailer The Kroger Co. offers health insurance plans to part-time employees who work for a minimum of 18 hours per week (24 hours at Wal-Mart), (Health Insurance Plan, The Kroger Co.)

Another large retailer, Wegmans Food Markets, takes 2nd place in the list of the 100 Best US Retail Companies to Work For in 2011 due to benefits packages, while Wal-Mart is not even in the list (Farfan, 2012).

Final statement: Wal-Mart is reducing benefits for its workers in order to save as much as possible. It is decent using the fact of such a high unemployment rate (about 9%) to decrease remuneration packages because people are desperate to work (Greenhouse, Abelson, 2011). Wal-Mart`s healthcare premiums are very high, and they keep increasing. Also, the amount of employee categories eligible for coverage has been limited. Moreover, Wal-Mart is very unpopular amongst retail companies which offer good bonuses, so it has never been on the list of  the 100 Best US Retail Companies to Work For due to benefits packages in the period from 2005 to 2011.

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