Starting in 2015, Wegmans is cutting health care benefits for its part-time employees to comply with President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
The Rochester, N.Y.-based supermarket chain will no longer provide health care benefits to employees who work 20 hours per week or more, The Buffalo News reported.
"Obamacare" requires companies to offer health insurance only to full-time employees who work 30 hours or more per week.
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"Even though the new healthcare law is requiring some changes, we are not going to do anything that will hurt our employees," Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale said in a statement Thursday. "We have met one-on-one with each impacted employee to reassure them and to let them know we are going to do everything we can to help them through these changes. Our proudest achievement has been our inclusion in Fortune's '100 Best Companies' list. We are there because we care deeply about our employees."
Part-time employees who are eligible may purchase subsidized coverage, which may end up being cheaper than employer-provided insurance, The Buffalo News said.
Benefits broker and consultant Erick Bond said purchasing private insurance might benefit lower-paid workers but cost higher-paid ones.
"Now that individual coverage is probably 30 percent higher than the group coverage that was offered. It's going to drive costs up," Bond told Rochester YNN
. "But the flip side of that is the federal government is giving them the tax credit to help pay for that, so lower-paid employees will come out ahead, higher-paid employees will lose significantly."
House Republicans are reportedly planning to introduce an alternative to Obamacare
in the fall, according to U.S. House GOP Deputy Whip Kevin Brady.
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