Starbucks Corp. [stckqut]SBUX[/stckqut] said Monday that it is expanding health-care benefits for all eligible part-time and full-time workers. A new online platform created with Aon PLC [stckqut]AON[/stckqut] will offer as many as six carriers and five levels of coverage. Workers could save up to $800 annually by selecting a plan that better suits their needs, Starbucks said in a statement. Starbucks staffers will also have access to Healthcare Advocates to help choose a health care plan.
The company will continue to cover about 70% of premium costs and 100% of preventive care services. Starbucks employs more than 160,000 workers and has been providing health care to eligible workers since 1988. Starbucks shares are down 0.2% in Monday trading and 4.5% for the year so far. The S&P 500 is up 6.1% for the year to date.
As the economy improves and there is more competition for workers, expect this to turn into a trend.