NBCUniversal to Scrap Part-Time Health Benefits at Orlando Theme Park

Universal Studios Entrance Globe - P

No changes are expected at Universal Studios Hollywood.

NBCUniversal will stop offering medical insurance to part-time employees at the Universal Orlando theme park but said Wednesday that it does not “foresee” such changes at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Employees at the Universal Orlando theme park have been informing part-time employees that their coverage would end Dec. 31, according to the Orlando Sentinel, which blamed the cost-cutting measure on federal mandates expected to kick in next year as part of the federal Affordable Care Act.

The health plans provided to Universal Orlando part-timers cover a maximum of $5,000 a year in hospital stays and caps other services, as well. Known as “mini-meds,” such plans will no longer be permitted in 2014, the Sentinel reported, hence the theme park’s decision to stop offering health care to part-time employees at year’s end.

The Sentinel said only 500 employees out of 17,000 will be affected by the new policy, as many part-time employees are covered under insurance policies from their parents or spouses so they did not rely on the plan provided by Universal Orlando.

“Universal Studios Hollywood does not foresee making any changes to its existing insurance coverage for part-time hourly park employees,” a spokeswoman said Wednesday. “Universal Studios Hollywood hourly employees are covered under a stand-alone benefits plan specific to California.”

There are about 5,000 full- and part-time employees at Universal Studios Hollywood.