At Target, we have a longstanding commitment to our team members’ health and well-being. We have been researching and evaluating how the transforming health care landscape will impact our team members and our company. Along the way, we have been firmly committed to making the best decisions for our team members and Target.
The launch of Health Insurance Marketplaces provides new options for health care coverage that we believe our part-time team members may prefer. In fact, by offering them insurance, we could actually disqualify many of them from being eligible for newly available subsidies that could reduce their overall health insurance expense.
In addition, the majority of our part-time team members who have been eligible for our health insurance coverage don’t enroll. Today, less than 10 percent of our total team member population participates in our part-time plan.
As a result, and after much thoughtful consideration, we have decided to discontinue part-time health insurance coverage for our stores’ part-time team members, beginning April 1, 2014.
We sat down with Jodee Kozlak, executive vice president of Human Resources at Target, to talk about the part-time team member health benefit changes and what we are doing to support our team members.
Can you explain why Target made changes to its stores’ part-time health insurance benefits? Health care reform is transforming the benefits landscape and affecting how all employers, including Target, administer health benefits coverage. Our decision to discontinue this benefit comes after careful consideration of the impact to our stores’ part-time team members and to Target, the new options available for our part-time team, and the historically low number of team members who elected to enroll in the part-time plan.
We recognize this change may be better for some and also may cause disruption for those who previously elected to enroll in this benefit. That’s why we have developed an approach to ease the transition for those impacted most. As a company, Target continuously reviews our programs and offerings and makes updates based on what makes sense for our team members, our guests and our business. And we focus on doing this in the most thoughtful way.
How is Target helping team members’ transition? It was important to us that we enable a smooth transition for those team members most impacted. We came up with a plan that tries to minimize any disruption and reduce confusion about how to work through the Health Insurance Marketplaces. Therefore, Target has dedicated substantial resources to guide our team through every step of the process. First, to help offset the inconvenience of this transition, Target will provide U.S. stores’ part-time team members who are currently enrolled in Target’s health coverage and who are losing access to that coverage a $500 cash payment. Second, we have partnered with a highly respected company that has extensive benefits expertise and asked them to develop a personalized approach to provide one-on-one support to every affected team member. This includes sharing information that is customized to each team member about what insurance is available to them, the differences between plans and their impact, any off-sets available to the team member, and ultimately walking them through every step of the sign-up process.
How did you notify these affected stores part-time team members? Our store leaders are personally talking to our teams this month, sharing information about the change as well as detail on how to access the dedicated support and resources. In addition, we are sending personalized information to our team members’ homes.
Will part-time team members still be eligible for other benefits? Yes. Store team members who average between 20 and 31 hours per week will continue to be eligible for benefits including vacation, dental, disability and life insurance. Team members will also continue to qualify for our team member discount, and the Target 401(k) Plan, which Target matches dollar for dollar up to 5 percent. Team members who average 32 hours or more a week will also continue to be eligible for comprehensive health insurance through Target.
All team members will also continue to have access to a number of health and well-being resources, such as those available through Target’s well-being program, which empowers team members to become their personal best by focusing on the five elements that make life fulfilling: health, social, career, financial, and community. A network of more than 3,000 well-being captains are dedicated to helping team members achieve their well-being goals in these areas by providing them with tools, resources, and ongoing education and inspiration.
Will Target be limiting hours to team members as a result of the change in benefits? No. At any time, our team members can talk to their manager about their interest and availability to work more hours. In fact, during the holiday season we offered our year-round part time and full time team members the opportunity to take on additional hours or cross-train to work in other areas — at their request.