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The Huffington Post reports that Trader Joe's - which just last month announced that part-time employees working less than 30 hours a week no longer will be offered company-sponsored health coverage and instead will be given "a check for $500 and nudged into state-run insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act" - now is inviting these same part-timers "who may face higher premiums on the Obamacare insurance exchanges to apply for additional subsidies from the company."

Here's how HuffPost frames the story:

"Trader Joe's decision apparently infuriated its part-time employees, many of whom wrote to HuffPost describing the move as a betrayal by a company that had been seen as worker-friendly. It's uncommon for retailers or grocers to offer affordable health care to non-union workers, and many employees said they had worked at the grocer in large part because of the generous coverage.

Trader Joe's, a privately held chain based in California, argued in a followup memo to workers that it simply couldn't match the deals to be found under Obamacare, especially when the subsidies for low-wage earners are factored in. The company, however, acknowledged there would be winners and losers on the exchanges, as some workers face higher premiums, depending on their household income.

"According to a Sept. 13 memo from Laurie Mead, vice president of human resources, some of those losers may get an additional parachute. The company told workers it would consider increasing the subsidy beyond $500 to employees facing unique circumstances as they seek out coverage on the exchanges."
KC's View:
It will be interesting to see how all this plays out, especially with all the political intrigue taking place. It seems likely that, whether the government shuts down or not, the health care exchanges will begin operating tomorrow ... and we'll begin to get a better sense of the impact that the ACA will have on health care delivery and health care costs.