A Wisconsin supermarket chain is being asked to reconsider a cut to health care benefits. Dane County Board Supervisor Dave DeFelice says the decision is being made by Woodman’s Markets, which operates stores at locations around the state. “According to a newsletter to its employees, Woodsman’s says it’s doing away with its mental health coverage, because it will be too costly, due to the passage of the federal mental health parity law,” said DeFelice.
DeFelice suggests the decision to drop the coverage may be a case of penny wise, pound foolish, because employees who have access to mental health services tend to be more productive on the job: “one side helps the other, and if you don’t have that one side, then your employees are without a fundamental way to stay healthy or return to health.”
There’s “reason after reason,” not to make the decision, according to DeFelice, who claims that the federal mandate will not mean huge increases in the costs of providing mental health coverage. Woodman’s management at the chain’s Janesville headquarters did not return calls for comment.