Home Depot, Trader Joe's Cut Health Benefits to Part Timers


Home Depot and Trader Joe's are the latest U.S. businesses sending their part-timers to health insurance exchanges to secure coverage.

Home Depot, the world's largest home-improvement retailer, announced September 19 that it would end company benefits for part-time employees—sending almost 20,000 of them to state-run online insurance marketplaces—a change that will affect nearly 5 percent of its work force. Home Depot announced its plans soon after Trader Joe's made the same decision for its part-time employees.

The Washington Post reports that Trader Joe's announced it would end health insurance benefits for employees who work less than 30 hours per week. The company will give those employees an extra $500 to help purchase coverage.

"Depending on income earned outside of Trader Joe’s, we believe that with the $500 from Trader Joe’s and the tax credits available under the ACA (the Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare), many crew members should be able to obtain health-care coverage at very little, if any, net cost,” the company said Thursday in a statement to Bloomberg News.

The Huffington Post talked to one Trader Joe’s worker who estimated she earns $20,000 per year and pays $70 a month for what she called a robust health plan. Trader Joe’s plans to kick in $500 for each employee, which equals about $40 per month.