Walmart Health Plan Better & Cheaper Than ObamaCare


Walmart is offering better and cheaper healthcare insurance  coverage for its more than one million employees than plans competing under  Obamacare, the  Washington Examiner reports.

A comparison by the newspaper  found that Walmart’s plans are more affordable and provide better access to  doctors and hospitals than the plans offered under the Affordable Care  Act.

The Examiner asked health policy experts and independent insurance  agents affiliated with the National Association of Health Underwriters to study  the plans to see which, if any, were better.

Walmart has two plans from  Blue Cross Blue Shield — one called the Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) and  another it calls HRA High, which cost employees more but have lower deductibles.  Individuals can receive coverage for as little as $40 a month while a family  plan costs about $160 a month.

The Walmart plans, which are offered to  1.1 million enrolled employees, differ from Obamacare in that age and gender do  not affect premium rates and there are no income eligibility requirements.

A Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analysis found  that unsubsidized Obamacare enrollees will face monthly premiums five to nine  times higher than Walmart premiums.

According to the JAMA report, the  monthly unsubsidized Obamacare premium for married 60-year-old non-smokers can  cost $1,365 compared to Walmart’s premium of just $134 for the same couple. The  report also said an unsubsidized premium under Obamacare for a 30-year-old  single smoker would cost $428 a month, compared to $70 monthly for Walmart  employees.

The Times said researchers also found that Walmart staff can  use eight of the nation’s leading hospitals for heart and back surgery,   including the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic, which the department store  chain calls “Centers of Excellence.”

Walmart employees can also get free  hip and knee replacements at four other hospitals nationwide.  But none of these  hospitals are included in most of the plans obtained through Obamacare’s  exchanges.

Robert Slayton, an independent Chicago insurance agent and  former president of the Illinois State Association of Health Underwriters, noted  that the number of doctors and hospitals available in Chicago under Obamacare is  very limited when compared to Walmart’s plans.

“You will notice there are  9,837 doctors [under Obamacare]. But the larger [Walmart] network is 24,904  doctors. Huge, huge difference,” he said.

The healthcare plans offered  by the company have been attacked by unions and other groups for providing  “substandard” benefits. But Gail Wilensky, who was in charge of President George  W. Bush’s Health Care Financing Administration, said, “It’s a lot better program  than people, I think, might assume without looking, just because Walmart has  gotten such a bad reputation by some of the labor groups and other groups for  its general activities.”

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