Online Auction Site eBay To Offer Health Insurance to Full-Time Sellers
San Jose-based online auction site eBay on Saturday announced that it plans to offer health benefits to full-time eBay merchants, the Wall Street Journal reports. Benefits including vision, dental and hospitalization will be available in the fall, CEO Meg Whitman said (Wingfield, Wall Street Journal, 6/24). The plan will be available for eBay merchants who gross at least $1,000 per month in sales, a rate that the company says has been achieved by at least 80,000 people. The plan, which was negotiated with Physicians Mutual Insurance Co., will be structured similarly to those offered by alumni organizations and other groups, the Los Angeles Times reports. EBay will not contribute to the plan. "We were able to pool together our numbers and get some pretty good rates," Whitman said (Colker, Los Angeles Times, 6/23). While exact pricing has not yet been determined, an eBay spokesperson said the company expects that sellers will pay less than they would if they sought health coverage individually (Wall Street Journal, 6/24). Company spokesperson Kevin Pursglove said "[k]eeping their merchants happy was ... an impetus for eBay to offer coverage" (Los Angeles Times, 6/23). The company earns most of its revenue from fees it collects on sales (Wall Street Journal, 6/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.