(Bloomberg) -- Walmart Stores Inc. the world’s biggest retail chain, plans to stop offering health benefits to employees who work less than 30 hours a week, a move that will affect about 2% of its U.S. staff.

The change is in line with what other retailers are doing, including Target Corp., Home Depot Inc. and Walgreen Co., the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said today on its website. Walmart will rely on the firm HealthCompare Insurance Services Inc. to help employees find replacement coverage.

The company also is increasing premiums as it confronts rising health-care costs. Walmart’s most popular and lowest-cost plan will climb by $3.50 to $21.90 per pay period, the company said.

Also see: Target to drop health insurance for part-time workers

“We don’t make these decisions lightly, and the fact remains that our plans exceed those of our peers in the retail industry,” Sally Welborn, senior vice president of global benefits, said in a post on Walmart’s internal blog.

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