2 months, 2 weeks ago from foxbusiness.com
Walgreen’s (NYSE: WAG) announced plans on Wednesday to move its workers to a private health insurance exchange, adding to the trend of corporations offering cash to workers to purchase their own plans on exchanges.
The notice comes less than two weeks ahead the Affordable Care Act’s exchange open enrollment start on Oct.1, and follows similar moves from Sears-Holding (NASDAQ: SHLD) and Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI).
The move to a private health insurance exchange from coverage provided directly from a company is significant, with a reported 160,000 workers who will be eligible for coverage.
While private health-exchanges are entirely separate from the ACA’s exchanges, Walgreen’s spokesman Michael Polzin says the drugstore chain decided to offer this coverage to 160,000 workers in order to keep them off government exchanges and provide them with broader coverage options.
Polzin says while 160,000 of its 240,000 employees across the country will be eligible for coverage, with dependents of workers’ families on the exchange, a total of 180,000 are expected to enroll.