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Home Depot Cutting Health Insurance Coverage for 20,000 Employees

Home Depot plans to end medical coverage for about 20,000 part-time employees and direct them to government-sponsored exchanges scheduled to open next month, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

Employees with fewer than 30 hours a week will no longer be offered limited liability medical coverage, Stephen Holmes, a spokesman for Home Depot, said. About 5 percent of Home Depot’s 340,000 employees are enrolled in that plan.

Home Depot said it is maintaining coverage for full-time workers, though those people will pay more next year, reflecting a rise in the cost of health care. Whether part-timers pay more under the health law’s insurance marketplaces will depend on the type of plans they choose, Holmes said.

The company will continue offering part-time employees coverage for dental, vision, critical illness, disability and back-up dependent care, Holmes said. The Affordable Care Act defines part-time workers as those working fewer than 30 hours a week. Holmes said Home Depot had already been using the 30-hour standard for defining part-time versus full-time work.

The Affordable Care Act exchanges are scheduled to open Oct. 1 to sell policies that take effect Jan. 1. The health care law mandates that individuals obtain medical coverage starting next year and the majority of employers offer health plans starting in 2015 or pay fines.

About Amanda Bell

Amanda Bell was an assistant editor of Hardware Retailing and NRHA. Amanda regularly visited with home improvement retailers across the country and attended industry events and seminars. She earned a degree in magazine journalism from Ball State University and has received honors for her work for Hardware Retailing from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

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