CVS Health extends benefits amid tax reform

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CVS Health is expanding its benefits suite amid sweeping tax reform to include paid parental leave to full-time employees and maintaining employee premium rates.

The drugstore retailer, which has 240,000 employees across the country, will offer four weeks of fully paid parental leave to hourly and salary full-time employees, regardless of gender.

Previously, women received partially paid leave while men received unpaid parental leave, according to the company.

CVS Health will also not increase employee premiums for the 2018-19 plan year and absorb any additional costs for the 100,000 workers enrolled in the company-sponsored health plan.

The company says its medical and prescription costs increased by 5% year-over-year, with more than 50% of the prescriptions filled by CVS employees and their family members are available at zero copay.

Hourly workers will also see their wages rise to $11 an hour, up from $9, starting in April.

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“As part of this change, the company also plans to adjust pay ranges and rates for many of its retail pharmacy technicians, front store associates and other hourly retail employees later in the year to ensure a competitive compensation structure that supports the company’s plans to evolve its retail stores into a health care destination,” the company says.

CVS Health says it expects to see an increase in cash flow of about $1.2 billion for the 2018 fiscal year due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The company says the changes to its benefits package and minimum wage will cost $425 million a year.

In addition to these benefit changes, the company offers a 401(k) plan with a 100% match on the first 5%, an employer-sponsored health savings account contribution at each pay period and a wellness program that includes free flu-shots, smoking cessation and weight-management programs, health screenings and physical fitness activity challenges.

“With the financial flexibility that tax reform provides, the company anticipates making strategic investments in future areas of growth in its business, particularly as CVS Health and Aetna combine to remake the consumer health experience, and will have more to say as plans are finalized,” the company says.

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