Is Affordable Health Insurance A Fairy Tale?
With starting wages at $7.00/hour, Walt Disney World workers can ill afford to pay thousands of dollars a year for family health benefits. Disney’s drastic annual increases in employees’ weekly health care payments have eroded workers’ weekly take-home pay. Worse, Disney may arbitrarily raise deductibles and co-pays at any time.
Disney workers face steep annual health insurance premiums even under one of the company’s least expensive medical plans. Exorbitant health insurance costs may soon put health insurance out of reach for workers and their children. The following bar graph illustrates the annual cost of coverage for workers and their dependents under the workers’ HMO plan.3 Under this plan, a Disney worker who needs to provide health insurance coverage for his or her family will have to pay up to $2,730 a year.
Disney workers would like to find solutions to reduce the costs of health insurance but the company has been resistant to exploring new alternatives. Unlike other major employers in Central Florida, Disney has failed to consider offering primary-care medical clinics at or near its parks and resorts. Disney also has yet to leverage its status as a major player in the greater Orlando health insurance market to provide a free, on-site generic pharmacy to its workers as is offered by hospitality employers in other major tourist markets, like Las Vegas.