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"I Am In Shock" - Whole Foods Cuts Medical Benefits For Hundreds Of Part-Time Workers

Published Monday, September 16, 2019
by Business Insider

(AUSTIN, TEXAS) - Whole Foods is cutting medical benefits for hundreds of Part-Time Workers, the company has confirmed to Business Insider.

The changes will take effect on January 1st and affect just under 2% of Whole Foods' total workforce, a Whole Foods spokesperson told Business Insider.

Whole Foods has about 95,000 Employees, so it means about 1,900 people will lose benefits.

The benefits that the company is cutting are offered to Part-Time Employees who work at least 20 hours a week.

The changes will not affect Full-Time Employees.

Whole Foods said it was making the change "to better meet the needs of our business and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model."

"The small percentage of Part-time Team Members ... who previously opted into medical benefits through Whole Foods Market's healthcare plan - less than two-percent of our total workforce - will no longer be eligible to buy into medical coverage through the company," the Whole Foods spokesperson said. "We are providing Team Members with resources to find alternative health care coverage options, or to explore full-time, healthcare-eligible positions starting at thirty hours per week.  All Whole Foods Market Team Members continue to receive employment benefits including a twenty-percent in-store discount."

A 15-year Employee of Whole Foods said she was "devastated" by the news. She told Business Insider in an interview that her family was covered by the health insurance plan she is enrolled in through her job at Whole Foods.  She said she would have to increase her hours to become eligible for full-time benefits and pay for childcare, or shop for a new and potentially more expensive health insurance plan on the private marketplace.

She spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

"I am in shock," she said. "I've worked here fifteen years. This is why I keep the job - because of my benefits."

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