Anyone still scratching their head as to why Wal-Mart is endorsing the inclusion of a public-plan in healthcare reform, you can stop scratching!

On MedScape we learn, “[u]nder the bill, employers that do not pay for at least 60% of the cost of the monthly premium for their employees’ insurance will be assessed an annual fee of $750 for each uncovered family, and $375 for each uncovered individual. The provisions wouldn’t apply to businesses with fewer than 25 employees.”

This is really interesting because, “[i]n 2008 the average employee contribution was 16% of the cost of single coverage and 27% of the cost of family coverage…[a]verage premiums, including both the employer and employee portions, were $4,704 for single coverage and $12,680 for family coverage in 2008.”

Now I don’t know exactly what Wal-Mart’s current contribution toward employee health insurance is, but if they’re within the range of the national average, Wal-Mart is going to make out fat if they just suck it up and pay the fines instead of a portion of the premiums.

If you’re Wal-Mart and you’re currently paying the average 27% toward the premiums for family coverage – $3,424 annually toward the total for an employee with family coverage – what would you do with the new regulations?

A) Suck it up and pay 60% of the premium now – $7,608
B) Cut the employees loose to pay the total themselves or go to the public plan and you pay the fine – $750

Any questions?

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