Wal-Mart Clarification on Prior Year Health Enrollment Numbers

Wal-Mart’s recently released health care enrollment numbers have been questioned by critics groups, citing a published report of 638,000 enrollees for 2006. The below statement was issued by Wal-Mart as a clarification of the issue:

"Enrollment numbers fluctuate daily as people get hired, become eligible or leave the company. The numbers we have provided are accurate and, just as importantly, demonstrate that Wal-Mart is making real progress in educating associates about the value of their health care as well as making coverage affordable and accessible. While many employers are cutting coverage or increasing premiums, Wal-Mart continues to improve its benefits offerings and cover more and more of our associates each year. Today, more than 90.4 percent of our associates have health coverage through Wal-Mart or another source.

"As reported in The Wall Street Journal, the 638,000 was an estimated number that didn’t account for turnover or changes in our associate base at that point in time. We said - in public and on our website - that as of January 2006, we had roughly 615,000 associates enrolled in Wal-Mart’s medical plans."