Universal Orlando's Obamacare Response: We're Dropping Health Insurance For Part-Time Workers

02/21/2013 11:03 am ET | Updated Feb 21, 2013
  • Bonnie Kavoussi Master's student in economics, the University of Michigan

A major theme park and resort is responding to Obamacare by providing health insurance to fewer of its workers.

Universal Orlando will drop health insurance for its part-time workers starting next year, the Orlando Sentinel reports, because Obamacare will outlaw health insurance plans with spending caps starting in 2014 -- the type that Universal Orlando offers its part-time workers.

Universal Orlando, home to "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" and other attractions, has thousands of part-time workers. Only about 500 of them are enrolled in the company's health insurance plan, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

A source within Universal Orlando told The Huffington Post that the theme park won't save any money by discontinuing the health insurance plan, since it doesn't spend any money on it. Rather, Universal negotiates the rates that the third-party insurer charges, the source said.

"We want to find a solution to this issue, and we are going to continue to work on it," Tom Schroder, a spokesman for Universal Orlando, told The Huffington Post in a statement. "We care about our team members, and we want them to have the best most affordable medical benefits possible."

Walmart, the country's largest employer, made a similar move in January when it stopped offering health insurance to newly hired employees working fewer than 30 hours per week. Many of these workers would qualify for Medicaid under Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, according to experts.

Some companies have decided to rely more heavily on part-time work in response to Obamacare's mandate that employers offer health insurance to all employees working at least 30 hours per week. Wendy's and Taco Bell franchises have cut employees' hours in response to Obamacare, and a Denny's franchise plans to do the same. In a different response, Dunkin' Brands is lobbying the government to make the mandate apply only to employees working at least 40 hours per week.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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