1. Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Disney, Universal win insurance waivers.....

Discussion in 'WDW Parks News, Rumors and Current Events' started by WDWmazprty, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. WDWmazprty

    WDWmazprty Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    6,442
    Likes Received:
    1,762
    Check it out:



    Disney, Universal win insurance waivers

      • By Jason Garcia, Orlando Sentinel

    5:08 p.m. EST, December 15, 2010

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando have won waivers from the federal government that exempt bare-bones health plans the two resorts offer part-time employees from new requirements imposed by this year's overhaul of the U.S. health-care system.
    The waivers, which were granted earlier this fall, will permit Orlando's two largest theme-park operators to continue offering limited insurance plans — commonly referred to as "mini-med" plans — that have low premiums but also low caps on annual benefit payouts.
    The two resorts are among more than 220 employers across the country, including Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, that have been granted waivers from a provision in the federal health-care law requiring annual limits on medical coverage to be no lower than $750,000.
    The minimum will escalate each year until 2014 when coverage limits are to be eliminated entirely for most health plans, effectively abolishing mini-med plans. By that time, workers will be able to qualify for tax credits to help them buy medical insurance.
    An estimated 1.4 million Americans are currently covered by mini-med health plans, which are widely used by low-wage employers such as retailers and restaurants. Critics say such plans provide little protection to workers, with meager payout limits that are not enough to pay for substantial medical care.
    Click here to subscribe to the Sunday Orlando Sentinel for only 80 cents per week!

    Boosters of such plans say they are the only affordable source of insurance for part-time and seasonal workers.
    Only a small fraction of workers at Disney and Universal are covered by mini-med plans. Disney, which employs 62,200 people in Central Florida, has approximately 1,300 part-time employees in Florida — and about 2,000 across its U.S. theme-park operations — covered by its plan.
    Disney's waiver was obtained through its insurance provider, Aetna Inc., which also provides mini-med plans to businesses such as Home Depot Inc., CVS Caremark Corp. and Staples Inc., according to The Wall Street Journal.
    "With the waiver we've secured through Aetna, our eligible part-time cast members will continue to have the option to enroll in basic coverage for services such as doctor's office visits, prescription-drug refills and emergency-room visits," Disney spokesman Bryan Malenius said.
    Universal's mini-med plan covers 668 part-time workers. The two-park resort employs approximately 14,300 people altogether.
    "We have separate and specialized medical plans for both our part-time team members and our full-time team members. The new health-care legislation would have left our part-time workers without their medical coverage," said Universal spokesman Tom Schroder. "We sought the waiver so that we could continue to provide them with the coverage they need and deserve."
    Neither resort would discuss details of their insurance plans. Disney said it would not provide such details for "competitive reasons," while Universal said it does not disclose details of its benefit plans.
    A spokesman for SeaWorld Orlando's parent company, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, which has more than 5,200 employees in the area, said the company has not applied for a similar waiver. "We also did not pass on any of the significant increase in health-care costs to our employees," SeaWorld spokesman Fred Jacobs added.
    Jason Garcia can be reached at jrgarcia@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5414.
  2. redshoesrock

    redshoesrock Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    4
    Bravo to SeaWorld and shame on Disney and Universal.
  3. brkgnews

    brkgnews Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    13,295
    Likes Received:
    70
    Money has to come from somewhere. If it's not passed on to employees, it will come from other line items in the budget, such as upkeep, new attractions, or even hiring / maintaining current levels of staffing. With wages relatively low, they can either ask for a waiver and keep selling the mini-meds... or they can let workers' entire paychecks be eaten up with healthcare costs.
  4. redshoesrock

    redshoesrock Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    4
    Or Disney and Universal could allow their part-time workers access to better health-care options. It's been documented many times that workers with better health-care stay healthier, meaning they don't miss work as often and do a better job.

    You're not seriously suggesting that these small fractions of workers who would get much better health-care from the recent reforms passed would hurt Disney and Universal's bottom line making it "that much harder" to pick up the trash at night? C'mon.
  5. paul436

    paul436 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    31
    Well said. You have a very good way of getting at the crux of things and understanding their true meaning.
  6. brkgnews

    brkgnews Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    13,295
    Likes Received:
    70
    "small fractions" are still a HUGE number. While it might not make the difference alone, it's just another line item in the red in the overall budget. Should they have better health care? Yes. But what good does it do if half or 2/3rds of their paycheck is being eaten up by the premium? You can't live on meds alone. In many cases people would just opt for NO coverage instead of coverage that eats into rent and food money.

    I'm not trying to get you to agree or disagree... I'm just offering a different viewpoint and trying to illustrate that such a complex issue cannot be distilled down to "shame on Disney and Universal."
  7. awilliams4

    awilliams4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    338
    Agreed. Seems like 95% of the population likes to suggest that businesses are bad for trying to make a buck. If you take out the trash and have a problem making $8 per hour and your health coverage is not the best, chances are this is not your employers problem.
  8. redshoesrock

    redshoesrock Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    4
    Two thousand workers out of the roughly 85,000 that work in DL and WDW. I don't begrudge a business making money, but we're not talking about a mom-and-pop store down the street that is struggling to pay their bills. Revenue-wise, Disney is the largest media and entertainment conglomerate in the entire world - they can pay it.

    I suppose my point is I've read too many posts from obvious Disney lovers who spend considerable amounts of money at the parks while also praising the CMs for going above and beyond again and again and again on their vacations, yet when the CMs try to stand up for themselves to get slightly better health-care or get a measly $.23/hr raise the same people seem to get quite indignant at the thought and adopt a "let them eat cake" attitude. It seems there's a disconnect there. I know I would feel better knowing the person who's in charge of running the ride I'm on and making sure I'm safe isn't distressed and fretting over, "Do I bring my daughter to the doctor and get medicine or do I keep the electricity on at home?"
  9. Tom

    Tom About Tree Fiddy Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    14,908
    Likes Received:
    18,186
    Hmmm....I don't see this thread going anywhere but political. I predict imminent moderation.
  10. BenS

    BenS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Messages:
    894
    Likes Received:
    15
    Yeah, this thread is going downhill fast.
  11. Skipper03

    Skipper03 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm not certain you know what you're talking about with regard to personal insurance. Shame on Disney for operating as a business? It's not an emotional decision, it's business. I love working for an employer who provides me with health benefits (not the mouse)... those who choose to work for Disney part-time are most likely aware of the benefits package when then volunteer to work there.

    Why does the world seem to think that if you make lots of money (Disney in this case), then you owe it to the small guys (part-timers in this case) to give them just part of your money?

    Disney does a decent job of taking care of their employees, but at the end of the day it's an enormous business with enormous costs.
  12. Fuzz

    Fuzz New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    2
    How is this shame on Disney or Universal. Just because they can afford it doesn't mean that they should be forced to. They are a business and are allowed to set their own standards within reason. If they wanted employees to preform better and decided health care was the way then that is their decision. Clearly Disney believes their current employee benefits attract the type of employees they want.

    It is really annoying people who believe businesses should just pay for things because they make a profit. Businesses are their to make money, as much money as they determine. If employees don't like that then leave. Businesses only owe you want is signed in the contract. This is the same stupid mentality of tax the rich because they have more money. Never mind the fact they worked hard and saved correctly, no just tax them because they have more...
  13. brkgnews

    brkgnews Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    13,295
    Likes Received:
    70
    I do not disagree with your basic tenents here... my point is that the same decision (medicine or electricity) could also have to be made if increased premiums result in lower take-home pay. Premiums at my company have skyrockted, along with increased deductibles, lower payouts, and more restrictions on what is and is not covered. A major hospital just down the road also has dropped our insurance provider because of the changes in coverage and payouts. It is a complex situation which has no easy answer.
  14. brkgnews

    brkgnews Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    13,295
    Likes Received:
    70
    Civil discussion is typically allowed as long as it directly relates to the topic at hand (with a focus on Disney). It's when the feces starts flying or it turns into "Donkeys stink" "no, elephants stink" that things get mod'd.

    Or sometimes the mods will determine that it's stayed civil for longer than is humanly possible and lock it while the lockin's good. :D
  15. redshoesrock

    redshoesrock Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    4
    Yes, Paris Hilton...definitely a hard-working penny pincher.

    Look, this is turning into a conservative-liberal flame war. Clearly you and I are on very different sides of this discussion, and I doubt we're going to change each others' minds on a message board thread about Disney; if you want to PM me I'll be glad to debate tax policy and/or health-care with you. Otherwise, I say just let the thread die.
  16. fosse76

    fosse76 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    569
    Actually, Genral Electric is, not Disney. Disney is 2nd.

    I agree. My solution would be to make the insurance companies not-for-profit. It's very clear that when left to their own device, industries that people have a strong reliance on in order to survive (heat, gas, electric and health) will do their best to gouge the consumer for every last penny.
  17. Wilt Dasney

    Wilt Dasney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    10,286
    Likes Received:
    673
    I think there's something to this. It seems industries are best motivated to put out a quality, competitive product (i.e., constrained by basic market forces) when they know there's a real chance the customer will just stop buying.

    Items people are more or less dependent on shouldn't be subject to the profit motive, because the profit motive isn't in turn subject to consumer whim. The equilibrium between buyer and seller gets out of whack, with the seller holding all the cards.
  18. Fuzz

    Fuzz New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yes and everyone collecting an un-employement check deserves it. Their are bad cases on both sides of this argument.

    No need to turn this into a flame war. I just don't understand how this could possible be a shame on Disney or Universal. They applied for a wavier allowing them to keep their cheaper health care option and it was granted to them. Yes it would be nice if they gave better health care but then at the cost of what. Disney has to answer to shareholders, so profits must be maintained. What will they cut then, refurbishments, new projects, employees, maintenance, etc? Or will they raise ticket prices making it more difficult to afford? The money has to come from somewhere.
  19. Wilt Dasney

    Wilt Dasney Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    10,286
    Likes Received:
    673
    If they actually cared about this issue, the multi-million dollar bonuses given to top executives like Bob Iger look like pretty low-hanging fruit to me...but once I say that, someone will come along and say the only way to recruit a quality person to run a big company is to hand him more money in bonuses than most people see in a lifetime. :shrug:
  20. lax3358

    lax3358 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Barf! Class warfare. Bob Iger makes a lot of money so he should give it away. Guess what? Bob Iger makes a ton more money then I do and I don't mind...he doesn't need to give me a dime.

    The fact of the matter is the money MUST come from somewhere. If operating costs rise then it must be paid for. Realize that most companies operate on less then a 5% margin. Meaning that 95% (95 cents on EVERY dollar) of ALL revenue goes into operating the business (salaries, electric bill, health insurance, etc.). So when you read an article about Disney's revenue is $3 Billion ( I made that up??) that isn't their profit. Disney is a for profit organization and reports to its stock holders ( I hold enough shares to care).

    The other important fact is that no one is forced to work at Disney. The day they hire you they tell you your pay and benefits if you don't like it...don't take the job. Look elsewhere....I did...I interviewed at Disney for a Mgmt. position in the Health and Safety arena...guess what....I didn't like the salary and that's when I looked elsewhere.

    Unfortunately, the world is not a fairytale...everyone isn't rich and some people need to dig ditches. If you want Disney employees to get a US Congressman's health plan then you had be prepared to pay a much higher ticket price.

Share This Page