Target Drops Health Benefits for Part Time Workers in Latest Obamacare Coverage Disruption


Flickr user Roadsidepictures

Big-box retailer Target is dropping health coverage for part-time employees. Via Politico: 

Target is the latest retail giant to drop health coverage for part-time employees, citing changes under by the president's health care law and low participation in its company health plans.

The company Tuesday night announced a plan to transition employees working fewer than 30 hours a week onto Obamacare health insurance exchanges, where they can get subsidized coverage.

Target isn't the first large employer to end health benefits for workers. Trader Joe's and Home Depot have made similar moves as well. 

These sorts of coverage cutbacks serve as a reminder that it's not just individuals buying health coverage on the individual market who are losing their existing coverage under Obamacare: Some people who had coverage from their employers are losing it as well. 

You can expect these sorts of coverage disruptions to continue.In some cases that will be because employers cease offering coverage. In others, insurers themselves will end existing coverage for small businesses and their employees. As The Washington Post reported earlier this month, the individual market cancellations we've seen as a result of Obamacare are just the beginning. There's a second, larger wave of policy terminations coming later this year:

According to industry analysts, insurers and state regulators, the disruption will be far greater, potentially affecting millions of people who receive insurance through small employers by the end of 2014.

While some cancellation notices already have gone out, insurers say the bulk of the letters will be sent in October, shortly before the next open-enrollment period begins. The timing — right before the midterm elections — could be difficult for Democrats who are already fending off Republican attacks about the Affordable Care Act and its troubled rollout.

Some of the small-business cancellations are occurring because the policies don't meet the law's basic coverage requirements. But many are related only indirectly to the law; insurers are trying to move customers to new plans designed to offset the financial and administrative risks associated with the health-care overhaul. 

Stories like these offer some insight into why so many of the health insurance sign-ups under the law so far appear to be for people who already had coverage rather than the previously uninsured. There's a lot of shifting around, as employers and insurers change or cancel policies to comply with new mandates or otherwise reshape their health insurance offerings to fit the new legal environment created by Obamacare. The overall effect is one of tremendous disruption to the existing health insurance marketplace. 

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  1. You still don’t understand what you’re dealing with, do you? Perfect legislation. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.

    I admire its purity. A survivor… unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.

    I can’t lie to you about your chances, but… you have my sympathies.

    1. …and no one can hear you scream. Well they can, they just don’t give a rat’s behind.

      1. Target is just doing this because they are angry we have a black President.

        1. Chase sent me a new debit card after my old card was identified as “at risk” after I used it last month at a nearby Target.

          Which means Target’s tech people can get a job at the white house. They’ll assist with overhauling the ACA website.

    2. So, Target has been in the news most recently for losing the credit card information of 70 million customers. Personally, I made exactly one purchase at Target in the past 6 months but I made it with my credit card and my personal information has been compromised. Target has promised to give me a year of free credit monitoring but only from one of the three major credit agencies (Experian).

      Now I live in with a constant subconscious fear about what could happen to my information. (My finances are, uh, complicated.)

      I’m sure many millions of Americans are like me. Their most recent opinion of Target is somewhere between annoyed and pissed.

      So, while suffering bad PR, they do this?

      Unwise, methinks.

      1. I got a notice this weekend from my credit card company that they are sending me a new card because I used mine at Target. Now I have to go through and change all of my automatic payments and such to the new number. It is a serious pain in the ass. I doubt many people have a very high opinion of Target right now even if you haven’t had your identity stolen.

        1. Oh, I don’t do the automatic payment thing anyway, so I’m good if I have to cancel a card.

      2. You should go to a new credit card provider. The one I have automatically cancels credit cards if they were used in a place that they find out got cracked. Also, don’t sign up for gay assed store credit cards.

        1. OMG those were gay?

      3. Eh, Target fucked up, but I would blame the banks/credit card providers for continuing to use outdated security.

  2. Just because Obamacare was implemented, then immediately people lost their coverage, doesn’t mean Obamacare *caused* that to happen.


    1. I am shocked (I shouldn’t be) that this belief is still around. I recently got into an argument with a friend of mine about ACA. He insisted that there was nothing in or about the new law that would make even a single insurance provider drop anyone. He seriously believed this. Even after I showed him the regulations that forced the insurance companies to drop the plans, he still said they were just being greedy.

      I really just don’t know how to deal with this level of indoctrination and self deceit.

      1. I really just don’t know how to deal with this level of indoctrination and self deceit.

        find new friends. There is no point engaging someone who argues in bad faith. It’s only going to piss you off.

      2. Hardly needs to be reposted here but:

        “Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.”

  3. Small price to pay for whatever Obamacare gets us.

    1. I know one person who claims that she’s going to get better health care now, and we all know that one piece of anecdotal evidence that supports the narrative outweighs all of the statistics on the other side.

    2. Remember, you get free condom and contraceptive out of this. Free condom is worth the price of cancellation of YOUR existing insurance.

  4. “coverage disruptions” What a benign and sanitized term for fucking needlessly with people’s lives.

  5. The overall effect is one of tremendous disruption to the existing health insurance marketplace.

    Socialist tactics involve disruption. Sounds like the law is working as planned.

  6. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/…..escue.html

    Mrs. Sudderman finally admits that Obamacare is beyond rescue. That is a pretty good indication that conventional wisdom in Washington is finally admitting the truth. It is really only the real hacks who have so much invested in it that they have no where else to go like Klein and Sad Beard who are left pretending this thing is anything but an historic disaster.

    1. From her column:

      Spring 2015: The IRS demands that people whose income was higher than they projected pay back their excess subsidies. This could be thousands of dollars.

      This is something I’ve been wondering about. Are people going to start having problems about getting a raise in the middle of the year because they know it’s going to fuck their insurance subsidy? Now those will be some yummy tears.

      1. “…third, we were debating on the Upper West Side.”


        If they ended up ‘agreeing’ with her, it was simply because the idiots need someone to articulate a reason to disown their own creation.

      2. It looks that way Nikki. What a nightmare. If you get lucky enough to finally get a decent job and improve yourself, your reward will be the IRS going after you for what amounts to back taxes.

        This thing is so evil on so many levels. Every time you think you understand how bad it is, someone points out some horrible effect you hadn’t previously considered.

      3. ” Are people going to start having problems about getting a raise in the middle of the year because they know it’s going to fuck their insurance subsidy? Now those will be some yummy tears.”

        That’s small potatoes. The really salty tears will be when newly employed workers at jobs without health care suddenly have to pay for the difference in subsidy levels between a negligible income and $20K per year. There are going to be a lot of shocked waitresses (with newly minted BA’s) when they realize that they owe an extra $200 per month for every month after they started working. And it will be right around the time that their student loan payments kick in.

        But at least they can be proud about those Obama/Biden 2012 stickers on their car and their “free” contraceptives.

    2. That was a good column by Megan McArdle.

  7. No, this is a GOOD thing.

    Lots of those Target employees were probably men.

    Now that they’ve been forced into the exchanges, they’ll have to buy policies that pay for maternity care.

    This rectifies the gross discriminatory injustice of our previous system, that only charged people for services they could possibly consume. It’s much more fair to make men pay for women’s health care needs so that women can pay less than their actual cost to insure.

    1. Many of them probably take the bus to work, and spending time around buses is a good indicator for lifetime maternity costs.

      1. I took a bus to the tractor pull

    2. LOL. Yeah. That or they will just go without insurance and be taxed because of it.

      This whole thing really is an abject lesson to the country in how socialism really works. What is sold as a program to end the injustice of people being unable to buy insurance ends with someone working part time at target being fined by the government because they can’t afford to buy insurance. You couldn’t write a better example of how socialism translates from rhetoric to reality.

      1. But will the average “soft Liberal” as you’ve termed them, get that ? If they are getting their news from Diane Sawyer or Brian Williams, I doubt they will actually understand they are witnessing how socialism fails.

        1. I don’t know. Time will tell. But I think they might. This thing is so bad and the ill effects so widespread that even the state run media won’t be able to cover it up. I don’t think it matters what the media does. People see their own insurance bills and people see what is happening to those around them.

          1. They might. There are an awful lot of people, (judging by Yahoo comments) getting tired of big government telling them what to do. On the other hand, a caller on morning radio recently, a painting contractor, was complaining about health insurance. He said, “Why can’t we have legislation that….” and went into his idea. His knee jerk response was to assume we need legislation to solve the problem. So having been kicked in the pants by a government program, he is still conditioned to assume the government is the solution. I didn’t hear him say, why can’t the state stay out of my health care.

            so yeah, maybe people will learn, but someone has to articulate it clearly.

            1. People do learn and do change. People grew tired of Prohibition. They grew tired of Progrssivism the first time around after Wilson. They grew tired of the New Deal and got most of it repealed or radically altered.

  8. Just more people not liking their current health insurance policies. Nothing to see here.

  9. I’m sure those plans were all inferior! These people should be thanking Obama!

  10. Gee, who could have predicted that? ANyone who didn’t see this coming is stupid, not paying attention or a liar.

    1. I think most of them are liars. They wanted this to happen. I am convinced the concept behind Obamacare was to create a public option and then make employer provided insurance and individually purchased insurance as hard as possible so that everyone would be herded onto the public option creating single payer by default.

      When the Congress wouldn’t pass the public option, they should have scrapped the entire effort. But they were too stupid and arrogant to do that. So now we have an entire program that is designed to leave people without insurance.

      1. When the Congress wouldn’t pass the public option, they should have scrapped the entire effort.

        Yeah, I mean, single payer totally isn’t going to be the solution when the market-based Obamacare fails. Reason told me so. This being the libertarian age and all.

        1. It won’t be the solution. Look at the polls. The polls all say the public, after having gotten a dose of government good and hard, no longer trust the government to run healthcare by a wide margin.

          Progs live in a fantasy world and honestly believe that people’s response to the government fucking up their insurance will be for people to demand the government run everything. Reality isn’t like that.

          If Obamacare has been bi-partisan and had been sold to the public as something that was not a long term solution instead of the Black Jesus setting the uninsured free, there might have been a chance for single payer. But that is not what happened. What happened was the Progs sold it as them finally getting what they want. When it ends in disaster, the public is not going to have any appetite for the Progs coming back and claiming “no what we really wanted was single payer”.

          1. The polls all say the public, after having gotten a dose of government good and hard, no longer trust the government to run healthcare by a wide margin.

            The same polls that show congress with a 9% approval rating. But do you want to wager on the retention rate of incumbents?

            1. If your opinion is that the politicians are just going to ignore the public and fuck them anyway, then fine. But if that is true, it will happen anyway and Obamacare has nothing to do with it.

              If politicians just want single payer because they want power and hate the public anyway, they are going to pass single payer and would do so with or without Obamacare. Maybe you are right. Anything is possible with these crap weasels. But even if you are right, that doesn’t support the “Obamacare was designed to fail so we can get single payer” conspiracy theory.

              1. “But even if you are right, that doesn’t support the “Obamacare was designed to fail so we can get single payer” conspiracy theory.”

                I don’t believe in that version, however, I do subscribe to the “Well we hope it will work, but if it doesn’t we want the failure mode to lead to single payer.”

  11. The feds have their thumbs, fingers, and nearly their whole hands in the healthcare pie permanently now. Any solutions they offer to fix the problems caused by Obamacare will only involve forearms and elbows. Withdrawal is simply not an option for them. I wish it were otherwise, but I cannot see any way that this ever gets better. Not ever.

  12. If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period.

    Except when your employer drops you.

    1. “If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period.

      Except when your employer drops you. Unless your plan is a substandard plan.


  13. It’s obvious that Obamacare is failing because of corporate self-interest and, while Obama wanted to give the nation an honest change to solve its health care woes in the context of the free market, capitalistic greed has made that impossible. Therefore, the only option remaining is for government to take over the entire health care system.

    While that might sound like pessimistic sarcasm to you eternal optimists at reason, I think it’s a very realistic possibility. Obamacare may be unworkable in its present form, but it ain’t going to go away and what ultimately comes out of it will have us looking back on today as the good ol’ days.

  14. “A feature, not a bug”.

  15. You know who else liked “anecdotal evidence”?

    1. George Zimmerman?

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