Trader Joe's Kicks Part Timers Off Healthcare Plan

In a memo obtained by the Huffington Post, the grocery chain said it will give workers $500 to help find a plan under Obamacare's coverage exchanges.

Trader Joe's will cease providing healthcare to its part-time employees.
Trader Joe's will cease providing healthcare to its part-time employees.
By Roberto Scalese, editor

Trader Joe's, the grocer once lauded for providing health care coverage to its part-time workers, is about to push those employees off its plan.
According to a memo obtained by the Huffington Post, the company will stop covering employees who work less than 30 hours per week.

The change is set for the start of 2014. Instead of insurance, workers instead will get a check for $500 in January. 

"Depending on income you may earn outside of Trader Joe's, we believe that with the $500 from Trader Joe's and the tax credits available under the ACA, many of you should be able to obtain health care coverage at very little if any net cost to you," said Trader Joe CEO Dan Bane in the memo.

Companies with more than 50 employees are required to provide health insurance under Obamacare. Trader Joe's full-time staff will still get their company-based insurance. 

The popular store operates one location in Centreville and six total in Fairfax County. There are also locations in Washington, D.C., Alexandria proper and Arlington. 

Isis September 12, 2013 at 07:27 AM
That's a real shame. I really liked that store.
Zeivah September 12, 2013 at 07:33 AM
I agree Isis ... So no more Papa Johns and Trader Joe's is on my out list. There are probably some Part Timers there who work only to get health Insurance. Sad because the company doesn't do this to survive - they do this because the executives making millions might have to take a cut in pay. It's not about "Obama's" America - it's about people in high places in America who are too greedy. Seriously how much money is enough?
Isis September 12, 2013 at 07:47 AM
Absolutely Zeivah. Taxpayers should not have to pickup the bills for er visit "healthcare" section 8 housing, and food stamps simply because a company wants to make more profits for their shareholders and use poverty wages to accomplish that goal.
Kim McCoy September 12, 2013 at 11:19 AM
I am positive that neither one of you have ever run a business. I happen to be the office manager for a small business right here in Fairfax...Since the onset of this disaster, we have seen our premiums skyrocket, we had no choice but to lower coverage, and have been saddled with the "shared responsibility" to do the insurance company's job for them or be faced with $1,000 fines per person per incident. In America, insurance is a BENEFIT of employment, not a right. The regulations and cost associated with socialized medicine have done nothing more than lower coverage, create a part-time workforce in America, and cripple businesses ability to grow and reinvest in the company. Do either of you have an iota of understanding about business costs?...overhead?...Have you ever signed a lease for business space, utilities, workman's comp insurance, credit applications to purchase necessary materials, computer equipment, IT techs, company vehicles, company vehicle insurance? Have either of you ever paid an attorney's fees for corporation renewals?...accountants to prepare federal and state tax returns?...all while trying to do the best you can for the employees you have left after the downturn in the economy? Who PAYS for your insurance? and Zeivah, business aren't supposed to "survive"...in America, they are supposed to THRIVE. That's what creates MORE JOBS...and Isis, if you think Obamacare is going to lower the taxpayer burden on section8 housing or food stamps you are absolutely ignorant on the facts.
Isis September 13, 2013 at 06:59 AM
Interesting thoughts Kim. First of all, both my husband and I have run our own individual businesses for 25 and 27 years respectively. WE pay for the entire amount of our health insurance, both the employer and employee side of our Social Security as well as all of our Medicare. We have been successful and continue to be. We don't have the luxury of having an employer cover any part of our costs as do persons who are employed by others. Heath care and access to healthcare should be a right in our opinion, people dying in this Country should not happen simply because you didn't manage to save enough or make enough to cover outrageous costs for cancer, etc. If a company chooses to squeeze every penny out of their business and they do not concern themselves with the heath safety of their employees, that is a shame but certainly their choice. But if this Country doesn't collectively make an effort to take care of everyone because it is the right thing to do then the value of life here is not any better then some places in the poorest Countries in the World. And if companies have to be forced to help support the people who have helped bring them success, then so be it. We all pay for the underemployed/unemployed/and ill via the tax system and that isn't going to change. However, companies with enormous profits must do their share or people will vote with their feet and not help those companies to make more profits. A single payer system with everyone having the same basic coverage and protection including our Senate/Congress etc would be the fairest and most economical in my opinion. I would prefer healthcare NOT be a benefit via some office a person happens to work in, but a universal protection. And as long as these companies want and receive tax breaks and do not want to support or protect their employees because they don't think it is fair to give back to the communities that helped them get where they are today in their success, then people can choose to support them in turn or not. I choose to not.
Kim McCoy September 13, 2013 at 10:50 AM
Isis, how can you say "companies choose to squeeze every penny out of their businesses and do not concern themselves with the health safety of their employees"?...you just said, you pay the entire amount on the employer AND employee side. My employer also pays 100% of our health insurance costs and always has, but NOW because of this legislation, that may well become unbearable. This country has ALWAYS "collectively" taken care of the under insured and would always continue to do so, without a federally forced socialist program designed to redistribute wealth. Your assertion that people are dying because Americans don't make an effort, is unfounded and offensive. Before this monstrosity was crammed down our throats, a full 90% of citizens HAD coverage and were happy with it. NOW, people are loosing their coverage at record levels, they are having their hours cut because companies CAN'T AFFORD to comply, and doctors are fleeing their practices in record numbers because they are unwilling to choose government guidelines for their patients health over what they know to be the best decisions for their patients. The federal government can't RUN anything properly; just look at the Social Security and Medicare systems...yet, you want to turn over Americans freedoms to an entity that waste more tax dollars than they spend correctly. Who are these phantom companies that you say "do not want to support or protect their employees"?...are they the same ones that use to offer coverage, but now because of Obamacare they CAN'T? America has always been the most CHARITABLE nation on earth; doctors and hospitals have never turned their backs on the sick here...heck, we take in the ill from countries all over the world and give them the care they CAN'T get in their countries because their GOVERNMENTS RATION CARE. You keep fighting for a more socialist system that have proven over and over again to NOT work and I'll keep fighting for the greatest, freest, healthcare system in the world.
Isis September 13, 2013 at 06:23 PM
So you deny that people die in this Country because they can not afford the medical care to keep them alive? Seriously? Believe as you choose, many of us see this much differently. And YES, my husband and I have paid for every single dollar of any benefit we have ever received. People who work for others have no idea what the real costs are. As you say, if you haven't run a business yourself, you do not have a clue. What I hear is that your company will no longer be able to give YOU the benefits you desire, and that is your complaint. There are thousands who do not and have never had their companies provide them with any benefits. One day this could be you and it is a sobering thought if people are honest. Companies thrive WITH their employees not ON them. Health care needs to be uncoupled with employment, and should be truly portable and available to all people, not just slaves to a corporation or because you make a lot of money or got lucky.
Isis September 13, 2013 at 06:26 PM
And Kim, I can say "companies choose to squeeze every penny out of their businesses and do not concern themselves with the health safety of their employees"?.. because it is true. Not all of them do, and we did not. But it is a choice.
RG September 16, 2013 at 01:06 PM
@Kim McCoy You are always free to pack your bags, take you limo out to Reagan National, board your private jet, leave this country and never come back..
RG September 16, 2013 at 01:07 PM
I won't be shopping at Trader Joe's anymore.
Kim McCoy September 16, 2013 at 02:17 PM
RG...why would I leave America? I will never back down from the fight to stop the onslaught of socialism. Americans WILL WIN. Obamacare is a train wreck and Americans are going to stop it....bank on it. Isis...I'll be with you shortly...as soon as I can find the time to sort out your incoherent post...you contradict yourself over and over again....There is a thing called stream of conscientiousness and train of logic; I would suggest you look them up.
Kim McCoy September 16, 2013 at 02:19 PM
...consciencenous... auto-correct error.
Rolling Thunder 2013 September 16, 2013 at 04:00 PM
It's not just Trader Joe's. ....Trumka of the AFL-CIO says the bill wasn't thought through. . . NTEU (National Treasury Employees Union) says it's gotta go too. They represent the IRS employees tasked with enforcing Obamacare. . . IBM and GE dumping retirees off health care plans. ... Shall I continue?..... Looks like somebody forgot to read the bill. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-09/ge-to-ibm-ending-retiree-health-plans-in-historic-shift.html
Kim McCoy September 17, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Ok Isis...First, you assume that because I work outside my home that we do not run a business. To the contrary, we have run a successful contracting business for 25 years, so I am well aware of the real costs. Early on, we couldn't afford insurance and went without but we never expected you or anyone else to supplement us. We budgeted, managed, and saved to afford it as we grew our American life. I'm not concerned that my employer won't be able to cover me; I'm concerned that we are tearing down a system that actually works in favor of one that won't. I can't understand why you would be mad at Trader Joe's when the part-time people who will be removed from their insurance plans will be moved to the government exchanges. Isn't THAT what you want? Last year, the federal government took in over $2 TRILLION in revenue from the American taxpayers and STILL they ran an almost $1 TRILLION DEFICIT. Can you run your business like that? MOST of the deficit comes from the FAILING ENTITLEMENT programs and you want to keep in place flawed legislation that will cost another TRILLION dollars over the next ten years just to implement. So, instead of 90% of Americans having insurance they are happy with, we will force higher taxes, fines, and penalties on the American people so that they can be forced to pay to insure a few. The good news is that, luckily, Americans have found out what's in this law and have overwhelmingly rejected it...and thankfully, we had a group of framers who understood that maximum freedom only comes from limited government. That's why your dogma about health care being a right will never become an amendment to the Constitution...that is, unless you can convene a convention, pass one, and get 2/3rds of the states to ratify it. I'd say good luck, but I wouldn't mean it, so....
Kim McCoy September 17, 2013 at 10:59 AM
...and btw, you say, "people die in this Country because they can not afford the medical care to keep them alive"...just wait until the "medical review boards" that exist in Obamacare start deciding who is worthy of further treatment and who is not based on their future "useful life"....YOU may be out of luck no matter how much you can afford.
Kim McCoy September 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Make that 3/4ths of the states!
Kim McCoy September 17, 2013 at 11:51 AM
UH-OH....if you dare. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/warren-buffett-scrap-obamacare-and-start-over_756302.html?utm_source=twitterfeed%26utm_medium%3Dtwitter
Isis September 18, 2013 at 09:32 AM
So Kim, you no longer deny that people die in this Country because they have not the funds to cover their medical care? Because at the end of the day, that is what matters to ME. As for your personal attacks, ppfffttt.
Isis September 18, 2013 at 09:37 AM
This bill is a beginning, and you have to start somewhere. Is it perfect? No, but it is better then nothing and maybe one day when the concern for all of our citizens is a valued consideration, we might get somewhere and people won't die because they aren't rich. And some people really should look up the meaning of Socialism. I am betting none of the complainers are willing to give up their Social Security or their Medicare.
Kim McCoy September 18, 2013 at 11:09 AM
Isis, that's your focus? Whether or not I deny people die in this country? pfft....This bill is not a beginning, it's the END of the greatest healthcare system on the planet. Your unfounded assertion that our citizens aren't valued is, again, offensive. Did you know, the Social Security Act passed in 1935 and when the first checks went out in 1940 the life expectancy was 61 years old...you had to be 63 YEARS OLD to collect from it (2 years past your expected death). The idea was that if you lived PAST that and had exhausted YOUR OWN savings, Americans would help you through. NOW, we have a life expectancy of 78.7 years and we let people start collecting at 62. That's what's wrong with socialism...it's a disease that spread and pollutes everything it touches. The first woman to collect S.S., Ida Fuller, paid in a total of $49.50...she ended up collecting $22, 889. Do you think that's a good system? It's the same thing that's already happening with your "beginning." I, for one, would happily give up my future Social Security and Medicare for the option of being able to OPT OUT of giving the federal government my money to "save" and "redistribute" for me and be able to use more of MY money to support real, charitable organizations with faces. Those two socialist programs have create a dependency state. This country is 222 years old (233 if you count from the end of the Revolutionary war) and in the 78 years since the SS Act, we have taught generations of Americans NOT to be personally responsible, NOT to save on their own, use CREDIT, indulge in continuous instant gratification, because the "government" will take care of you in the end. Your fixation on "rich" people seems to be a personal problem.
RG September 18, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Another company I won't be doing business with again. http://www.mail.com/scitech/health/2340850-walgreen-moves-health-coverage-to-private-exchange.html#.7518-stage-hero1-10
Kim McCoy September 18, 2013 at 01:14 PM
RG... Do you have anything constructive to add to this debate?...I often find that those who won't directly engage in producing information (facts, figures, examples) germane to the topic tend to have little or no knowledge of the law, it's effects, or it's ramification on the country. What's your angle here? Do you have one? Do you work for one of the agencies tasked with implementing this monstrosity? Do you work at all?
RG September 18, 2013 at 02:07 PM
I'm posting who I choose to spend my money with.. If you don't like it, too bad... Save your GOP angle for someone who cares. Yes, I work. I work two jobs, 1099(self employed IT consultant) during the day and a futures trader at night. GOP mouth pieces always looking down their nose at people, trying to put people down and make up a bunch of lies to intimidate people from speaking up..
Kim McCoy September 18, 2013 at 04:35 PM
So RG...nothing constructive to add to the debate..got it. ...btw, I'm not a "GOP", I'm an American. Maybe if you start focusing on what that means, you won't be so blind.
Kim McCoy September 18, 2013 at 04:36 PM
...and RG...where exactly are the lies in my posts?
Kim McCoy September 19, 2013 at 10:55 AM
From the U.S. Census Bureau Federal Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage 2007 report Both the percentage and number of people without health insurance decreased in 2007. The number of people with health insurance increased to 253.4 million in 2007 (up from 249.8 million in 2006). In 2007, the percentage and number of children under 18 years old without health insurance were 11.0 percent and 8.1 million, lower than they were in 2006—11.7 percent and 8.7 million (Table 6). Native born uninsured rate. . .12.7 % down -1,111 to –0.5%
Kim McCoy September 19, 2013 at 02:17 PM
..and Isis, your manifesto didn't post here, but I did receive your ramblings in my email. (hence, the above post proving my facts are real) To those who can't see Isis's novel, she says France has the #1 health care in the world and she says she can probably "buy and sell me on any given day"....does that come from your elitist side or your "compassionate" side?...Your incoherent arguments and blind hypocrisy is astounding.
Isis September 23, 2013 at 06:49 AM
Kim if you had a brain in your head you would check the world stats on healthcare, but you don't. There is no point in trying to have a discussion with a person who will NOT do her research, and simply wants to fight because she is on the losing side. Fight with yourself, seriously, a total waste of time to have any discussion with a person like you. Ciao
Kim McCoy September 23, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Isis, why do you think I would care about "world" stats on healthcare? I'm an AMERICAN, I'm NOT from FRANCE. I've done my research on AMERICAN stats and I am satisfied with NOT being SOLD INTO BONDAGE...thank you very much. ...btw, "world stats" include stats from places that don't "account" for medical issues like WE DO....AMERICA, that is. If you prefer France, I'm sure they'll take you back.
Mary S. September 30, 2013 at 05:59 PM
I won't be shopping there any more either. As stated previously, no more Subway, Papa John's, Walgreens any other companies that don' t think of their employees first before their wallets. Healthcare is so important nowadays and so damn expensive for those working for minimum wage...


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