Retail giant Walmart has often been the object of scorn for its supposedly substandard health insurance plans, but a report from the conservative Washington Examiner
suggests the superstore’s coverage actually offers more coverage at a better price than plans sold through the federal exchange.
According to information provided by Walmart, a family of four earing $53,000 a year would pay just $160 in monthly premium under its standard plan, compared to a $317 premium under a HealthCare.gov plan
, including subsidies.
Similarly, a 30-year-old smoker earning $30,000 a year would pay a $70 monthly premium through Walmart and a $352 subsidized premium through Obamacare.
The report also maintains that Walmart provides more quality coverage, offering access to providers like the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic, which are left off most exchange plans. In Chicago, the paper alleges Walmart offers access to 54 hospitals compared to 28 hospitals through Obamacare.
kept the exact methodology of its study under wraps, but did say it asked “health policy experts” and independent agents affiliated with the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) to compare the two offerings.
Dan Heffley, volunteer regional special master of legislation with NAHU, did not participate in the study, but told Insurance Business the report’s findings are “generally on target” and “a slap in the face for Obamacare.”
“But it’s more from a self-funded employer advantage,” Heffley said. “Obamare had a very limited effect on self-funded plans, with the lion’s share of regulations affecting the full-insured, under-65 market.”
Heffley also noted that the study did not address the fact that sole-earner, minimum-wage employees—which make up a large portion of Walmart’s workforce—would likely also be eligible for free Medicaid in states where the program was expanded.
Similarly, older individuals, like those work as Walmart greeters, often qualify for less expensive premiums through the Affordable Care Act thanks to an increase in premiums for younger individuals.
What do you think? Does the coverage offered in your area stack up to that provided through Walmart?