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January 28, 2008
Number of Uninsured Employees Drops at Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., reported recently that the percentage of its employees who say they have no healthcare coverage declined from 9.6 percent to 7.3 percent in the last year.

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The company collected data during its recent open enrollment period and found that the percentage of employees who have healthcare coverage through the company or some other source has increased from 90.4 percent to 92.7 percent in the last year.

"Over the past few years, we've spent a lot of time listening to our associates and working closely with them to design a benefits package that better meets their needs," says Linda Dillman, executive vice president of benefits and risk management for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

The company said 50.2 percent of its employees have coverage through Wal-Mart's plan. Other sources for their healthcare coverage include:

  • Spouse (22.3 percent)
  • Medicare (4.3 percent)
  • Parents, school, or college (4.2 percent)
  • Other/previous employer (3.2 percent)
  • Individual policy (2.4 percent)
  • VA or military (2.3 percent)
  • Medicaid (1.9 percent)
  • State program other than Medicaid (1.2 percent)

In the recent open enrollment period, 1,086,881 full-time and part-time associates were eligible for health benefits, representing 79 percent of the workforce.

Dillman said that recent changes in Wal-Mart's benefit plans are a key factor in increasing enrollment rates. The company added more personalized choices, lower deductibles, pre-deductible healthcare credits, and a $4 co-pay for more than 2,000 covered generic prescriptions.

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