Here’s what the law means for Waste Management
and its employees
Houston – If you’ve been watching the news, you’ve heard of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
Since the beginning of October, with the opening of the Health Insurance Marketplaces (sometimes called
“exchanges”), employees have sent in questions about what effect the law will have on the company’s benefits.
Below is information as it relates to Waste Management. If you’d like to learn more about the Affordable Care Act,
go to YouTube and search “The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare” for a comprehensive overview.
Is our employer-provided coverage going away? Are we required to buy health insurance from the
government? Do we need to take any action?
For most full-time WM employees, the short answer to these questions is “no.” WM will continue to offer
quality, affordable coverage to you and your family. If you don’t have coverage through WM, or would like to
change your existing coverage, the company’s Annual Enrollment will take place Nov. 5-19.
Starting in 2014, most people in the U.S. will be required to have health insurance. The Health Insurance
Marketplace was created to provide options to people who don’t have access to affordable coverage through
an employer. Some of these people might receive a tax credit (determined by their household income) to
offset the cost of coverage purchased through the Marketplace.
Please note that all eligible, full-time employees of WM (and their legal dependents) will not qualify for a tax
credit in the Marketplace, because WM already provides qualifying coverage. As such, the cost of coverage
through the Marketplace (without the tax credit) will be significantly higher than what you would pay for similar
(or better) health insurance through WM, since there is no employer sharing the expense.
What’s changing in 2014?
Under the new healthcare law, WM will cover more services and more employees. However, this increased
coverage does mean an increase to plan costs for both WM and its employees.
Later this month, the details about the company’s 2014 plan will arrive in the mail at your home address, along
with instructions for the year’s Annual Enrollment. At that time, you will be able to craft the right, affordable plan
for you and any dependents. In addition, meetings will be held (where applicable) to communicate the information
and answer any questions. Information will also be available by logging in to mywmtotalrewards.com.
What can I do now?
Remember that with so much attention on the healthcare law it’s easy to forget the most important thing — your health.
Ultimately, a person’s health determines their long-term medical expenses and (more importantly) their wellbeing.
With that in mind, get the most out of your plan by focusing on what you can do today to improve your overall health and
livelihood. For example, make sure you and your family get the preventive care you need. Participate in a health fair
(if your location holds one) or contact a Get Well Guide to help you monitor your blood pressure, lose weight or quit smoking.
And lastly, always read through the information you receive at home or work about your benefits. Very soon, those printed
materials will be arriving in the mail, so take it as an opportunity to learn about the new healthcare law, plan for next year
and set goals for a healthier lifestyle.