I saw a disgusting commercial a couple weeks ago from Wal-Mart. It went on and on about how the Wal-Mart employee’s son had a heart problem, and Wal-Mart paid to send him to the Mayo Clinic for the surgery. The employee was *so* thankful that he worked at a company that would do something for his son like that.
Wal-Mart, the country’s largest private employer, only has about a third of their employees using their health care plans, due to high premiums and deductibles. It claims that 90% of their employees still *do* have some sort of health insurance, and “usually get their health-care benefits from a spouse or the state or federal government,” according to a Wal-Mart spokesperson. Talk about corporate responsibility. Wal-Mart’s so cheap because it relies on the government and other employers to keep its employees healthy. If Wal-Mart employees wanted to take advantage of Wal-Mart’s health insurance, they’d have to pay about 25% of their monthly wages to pay for it (based on what Wal-Mart pays). Even better: about 6% of Georgia’s PeachCare program, its program for uninsured kids, have a parent who works at Wal-Mart. That’s 14 times more than the next closest employer.
Hopefully Wal-Mart will catch on to Cost-Co’s strategy: pay employees more, offer health benefits, and become more profitable. By paying better, it retains good employees, and is therefore more efficient.