A big retailer says its 2008 health benefits menu will be more flexible.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark., says it will offer its 1.3 million full-time and part-time U.S. employees a choice of 50 health plans in the coming year, up from 9 plans this year.

The plans will include access to more than 2,400 generic drugs with a $4 co-payment, and they also will include access to pre-deductible health care credits of $100, $250 or $500, Wal-Mart says.

Employees can use the credits to pay for routine care before deductibles kick in, Wal-Mart says.

Employee premiums for individual coverage with a $100 health care credit and a $1,000 deductible will range from $9 per month to $13 per month throughout the country, Wal-Mart says.