Wal-Mart plans to expand its $11-a-month health care plan to at least half its employees by next year. That plan costs less than half the price of Wal-Mart's other coverage plans, is available only in certain stores and is the result of special deals with medical providers.Additionally, the company said it will shorten the time it takes for part-time workers to qualify for coverage, and will expand those benefits to include their children for 30 cents more per day.
Currently, part-time workers must work two years before qualifying for benefits, and their children are not eligible.
Maryland recently became the first state to require Wal-Mart to
increase its health care spending or pay the difference to the state's
Medicaid fund. The law is being challenged by the Retail Industry
Leaders Association. At least 22 states, including Colorado, are considering similar bills.
Wal-Mart is Colorado and the nation's largest private employer (over 1 million employees).