Wal-Mart, America’s single-biggest employer outside of the U.S. federal government, has announced that in 2014 it will begin offering health care benefits to employees’ domestic partners.
This comes on the heels of both the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) open enrollment period, which begins Oct. 1. In preparation for increased costs to employers, some companies have begun placing limits on who will and will not be covered under sponsored health care plans.
Last week, UPS announced that spouses of non-union employees would no longer qualify for company-sponsored health insurance if they could obtain coverage through their own jobs.
And Forever 21, a clothing retailer, took a slightly different route to bypass feared cost increases. This week the company announced it would cut back the hours of its line workers to 29.5 per week, allowing it to sidestep the mandatory benefits rules of PPACA.