Trader Joe's Backtracks; Will Help Workers With Obamacare

After Trader Joe's infuriated employees in August when the retailer said it would no longer provide health insurance to part-time workers, the company is extending an olive branch.

Now, Trader Joe's is saying that workers who may face higher premiums on the government's new health care marketplaces can apply for additional subsidies from the company, according to a memo obtained by Huffington Post.

The privately held chain originally said it would not be providing health insurance to part-time workers starting in January 2014, because it couldn't match the rates workers could achieve through the government's health insurance exchanges. Trader Joe's originally said that employees working fewer than 30 hours a week would be given a subsidy from the company for $500 and encouraged to take part in the government program. However, Trader Joe's acknowledged at the time that some workers would be facing higher premiums, depending on their household incomes.

In the new September 13 memo, Trader Joe's said it would consider increasing the subsidy beyond $500 to employees facing unique circumstances as they seek out coverage on the exchanges. "If the upcoming move to a healthcare exchange exacerbates the burden of existing hardship for you or your family, we want to know about it. Depending on the situation, Trader Joe's may provide additional money to help with your transition to a healthcare exchange," Laurie Mead, vice president for human resources for Trader Joe's, wrote in the memo.

For more:

-See this Huffington Post article

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