POLITICS

Universal Orlando dropping health care for part-time workers, citing Obamacare

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

Universal Orlando will drop health insurance coverage for part-time workers starting in 2014, when a new insurance rule will go into effect under Obamacare, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Universal currently offers part-time employees low-premium coverage with limited benefits that are capped below the level allowed by Obamacare.

The plan costs about $18 a week for coverage that will pay up to $5,000 per year in hospital stays, according to the Sentinel. About 500 part-time Universal employees are currently covered under the plan.

“We care about our team members and we want them to have best, most-affordable medical benefits we can provide,” Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said Tuesday, according to the Sentinel. “This particular issue affects about 3 percent of our 17,000 team members, and we’re going to continue to work toward a solution.”

Universal is not the only company to drop part-time insurance because of Obamacare. Darden Restaurants, also based in Orlando, will reportedly drop its part-time coverage in 2014 as well.

And Dunkin’ Brands is lobbying for the definition of “full-time” workers to be changed from 30 hours to 40 hours, consistent with state and federal laws.  The move would significantly reduce the number of employees it would have to cover, though Dunkin’ told Boston Business Journal that is not the reason for its request.

 

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