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Old 03-29-2008, 11:38 AM   #16
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I would imagine Walmart's health plan is an ERISA plan, in which case it's "governed" by the DoL, and that means you have to stick to the rules stated in your health plan. I believe there are some instances where exceptions can be made, but I don't know how much wiggle room there is, even in sad stories like this.
They were just talking about this on MSNBC, and whoever they were talking to stated that subrogation isn't something a company will always do - so I guess Walmart does have a choice whether or not to go after the money.

On the one hand, it makes logical sense to try and get their money back. On the other hand, jeez Walmart - have a heart. I know all companies are concerned about the rising costs of health care and will take money back where they can, but come on.
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:14 PM   #17
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have a heart.
Left to the drug companies and major corporates to do this is futile.
Can either of the candidates really have or will have the heart?

That remains to be seen..
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:28 PM   #18
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Wal-Mart spokesman John Simley, who called Debbie Shank's case "unbelievably sad," replied in a statement: "Wal-Mart's plan is bound by very specific rules. ... We wish it could be more flexible in Mrs. Shank's case since her circumstances are clearly extraordinary, but this is done out of fairness to all associates who contribute to, and benefit from, the plan."
I do guess this does haev to do a lot with setting a certain precedent

not that this makes it easier to swallow
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:16 AM   #19
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Nothing like some bad PR to "help us step back"

CNN) -- A former Wal-Mart employee who suffered severe brain damage in a traffic accident won't have to pay back the company for the cost of her medical care, Wal-Mart told the family Tuesday.

"Occasionally, others help us step back and look at a situation in a different way. This is one of those times," Wal-Mart Executive Vice President Pat Curran said in a letter. "We have all been moved by Ms. Shank's extraordinary situation."

On Tuesday, Wal-Mart said in a letter to Jim Shank that it is modifying its health care plan to allow "more discretion" in individual cases.

"We wanted you to know that Wal-Mart will not seek any reimbursement for the money already spent on Ms. Shank's care, and we will work with you to ensure the remaining amounts in the trust can be used for her ongoing care," Curran said.

"We are sorry for any additional stress this uncertainty has placed on you and your family."

Wal-Mart's reversal came as shock to Shank.

"I thought it was an April Fool's joke," he told CNN.

"I (would) just like to let them know that they did the right thing. I just wish it hadn't taken so long," Shank said. "But I thank them and I hope they come through with all that they said they're going to do.
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:25 AM   #20
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One of the rare occasions where the media can influence a companies cost-benefit for the better.
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Old 04-02-2008, 03:06 PM   #21
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Walmart must have calculated that the bad publicity will cost them more than 417 million

but good decision
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Old 04-02-2008, 03:41 PM   #22
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Wow I'm shocked..
But glad.
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:02 PM   #23
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Walmart must have calculated that the bad publicity will cost them more than 417 million

but good decision
Exactly.

The decision was great, but it's very unfortunate that the family had to be put through the stress and uncertainty unnecessarily.
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