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InsiderOnline Blog: August 2004

Organic Food Purveyors Can't Be Wrong.

I was wondering why I hadn't seen any pictures of impassioned protest against Health Savings Accounts in New York yet. It must because Whole Foods, the largest seller of organic foods in the nation, offers its employees HSAs, along with the personal responsibility that comes with them.  

Clearly, the protestors can't go after this point too much. They can't fight Whole Foods, lest they lose their guilt-free, vegetarian fuel for protesting other, much bigger problems in the Big Apple. Bad news for the left, but good news for Whole Foods. (subscription required)

Whole Foods Market, a 159-store grocery chain with about 30,000 workers, has had “dramatic” results with its new consumer driven health plan. About 95% of eligible workers are enrolled in the new plan, which has a $1,500 deductible and a savings account to which Whole Foods contributes between $300 and $1,800 each year for employees, depending upon length of service.

Most workers do not pay an insurance premium under the plan, and they can rollover any unspent money in their health account at the end of the year. In 2003, only 10% of Whole Foods employees spent all of the money in their savings accounts. A total of $14 million rolled over to 2004, or about $560 per account. And while national health insurance premiums increased an average of 13.9% from 2002 to 2003, Whole Foods’ overall medical-claims costs fell 13% from the year before and hospital admissions per 1,000 employees fell 22%.

Posted on 08/31/04 05:11 PM by Mary Katherine Ham

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