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Report: Sears To Offer Cash Rather Than Health Insurance Plans

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Sears Sign (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Sears Sign (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

schlessinger250 Regine Schlesinger
Hi! My name’s Regine Schlesinger and if that rings a bell, it probably...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Two big employers, including one based in the Chicago area, are changing the way they provide health insurance to their workers.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Sears Holdings Corp., headquartered in Hoffman Estates, and Darden Restaurants Inc., which owns the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, reportedly are making a radical change that will be watched closely by other employers.

The Wall Street Journal reports the companies will give employees a fixed amount of money, then let them choose their health insurance from an online marketplace.

The Journal says it is comparable to the transition from company-provided pensions to 401(k) retirement savings plans controlled by workers with contributions from employers.

An expert at the Employee Benefit Research Institute tells the Journal that the worry for employees is that the money might not keep up with premium inflation.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

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