It seems Wal-Mart has long been the enemy for small business owners – we’ve all heard the stories of the big box corporate stores arriving in a small town and putting all of the Mom and Pop shops out of business. There’s nothing new there. Then it might surprise you to see that Wal-Mart has announced a plan that would actually benefit those small business owners that are cursing its very existence.
On January 11, Wal-Mart Vice President Marcus Osborne was quoted in the Orlando Business Journal unveiling a plan to sell low-cost health insurance coverage to small businesses. The plan is to offer a number of options through a health insurance exchange that would leverage the massive buying power of Wal-Mart to bring a number of widely available options to small businesses.
“It would allow small employers to piggyback Wal-Mart,” Osborne told the Journal. “We haven’t got it all figured out, but it’s one of the things we’re looking at.”
As the first month in 2013 comes to a close, small businesses are still bracing themselves for how President Obama’s health care reform, which will create government-run health insurance exchanges in every state for small businesses and individuals, will affect them. Knowing that there will be a number of low cost options to choose from, in addition to those created by the government, will likely be welcome news for many.
And yet, buying health insurance – or anything, really – from Wal-Mart might be too much like fraternizing with the enemy for some small businesses owners who have vowed to shop local and support small businesses owners like themselves. It will be interesting to see how Wal-Mart’s health care exchange will pan out in the coming months, or if it will come to fruition at all.
What do you think? Would you buy your small business health insurance from Wal-Mart?