McDonald’s Inadequate Health Care Coverage

“Obamacare To Blame?”

McDonald’s has been making waves in the health care industry lately, and not for good reasons. When the press got a hold of story leaked about how McDonald’s will probably be dropping 30,000 workers from health insurance coverage, they tweaked the story so much so that it wasn’t about McDonald’s anymore but about how health care reform is leaving these 30,000 workers in the dust.

Well, this morning a new and more investigative report came out of CNN Money that found the truth behind the story, and the truth doesn’t look so good for McDonald’s. When certain members of certain media outlets mixed with certain members of certain right winged affiliations, the McDonald’s story went from the truth to how “Obamacare” is ruining these worker’s lives. In reality, McDonald’s was already on its way to doing that.

McDonald’s health plan is “radically inferior coverage” and “unacceptably inadequate,” said Alan Sager, professor of health policy and management at Boston University. The coverage that McDonald’s workers get is quite comparable to no coverage at all.

According to CNN Money, the most affordable plan at McDonald’s charges hourly workers about $14 a week, which comes to $727.48 annually. In return, they get $2,000 worth of coverage per year. If they step on a nail or come down with the flu, they might be covered, but the costs paid by the insurer may not even equal their premiums. If they are diagnosed with cancer, or even appendicitis, they are as vulnerable as someone with no insurance at all.

The “best” plan of the bunch costs $1,680 a year and caps benefits at $10,000. But for outpatient treatment (which often means the emergency room), benefits are capped at $2,000. A trip to the emergency room can zoom past that level in a matter of minutes.

McDonald’s is not dropping coverage solely because health care reform is taking over the nation, it’s dropping health coverage because this lacking coverage doesn’t even cover the smallest amount of what is required by insurance to cover.

According to CNN Money, “mini-medical,” or “limited-benefit” plans like this have been around for more than a decade and have risen in popularity in recent years as health care costs have soared out of control. As of a couple of years ago, sales of such plans were growing at a clip of about 20% annually, largely among small businesses. But they’re increasingly popular at bigger companies that employ a lot of hourly, low-wage workers, such as McDonald’s, Sears Holdings, and Lowe’s. Estimates of how many people are insured by such plans range between 1.4 million and 2 million.

Even Aetna has been quoted saying that these ‘mini plans’ actually do nothing more than “promote a perception of value that far exceeds cost.” For a huge insurance company like Aetna to state that on the record, it’s no wonder “Obamacare” is trying to get rid of them.

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