| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Aug 26 Starbucks Coffee Co
will not follow the lead of other companies that are cutting
health insurance benefits or reducing hours for employees in
anticipation of the U.S. Affordable Care Act, the coffee shop
chain's CEO Howard Schultz told Reuters on Monday.
"Other companies have announced that they won't provide
coverage for spouses; others are lobbying for the cut-off to be
at 40 hours. But Starbucks will continue maintaining benefits
for partners and won't use the new law as excuse to cut benefits
or lower benefits for its workers," Schultz said in a telephone
The 2010 healthcare reform law, often called Obamacare,
requires companies with more than 50 employees to offer health
insurance for employees who work 30 hours a week or more.
Starbucks currently provides healthcare to part-timers who work
20 hours a week or more.
Last week, United Parcel Service Inc told non-union
employees that their spouses would no longer qualify for
company-sponsored health insurance if they could get coverage
through their own jobs.
According to a survey released in March by consultant Towers
Watson and the National Business Group on Health, 4
percent of large employers excluded spouses from their health
plan in 2013 if they could buy coverage where they work, and 8
percent more planned to do so for 2014.
Last week, Reuters reported that some businesses are keeping
staffing numbers below 50 or cutting the work week to less than
30 hours to avoid providing employee health insurance.