(New York Times) – In an earnings call last week, Walmart announced that its workers were signing up for health insurance en masse. The news was bad for the company’s shareholders, since the added $500 million it will cost to cover them will eat into expected profits. But it also means that many more low-income families have health insurance now than did last year.
The change didn’t come because of a more generous company policy. Walmart has long offered health insurance to its full-time workers for relatively low premiums — about $18 every two weeks for its lowest-paid workers. It came because many more workers decided to take advantage of the offer.