Well color me impressed. Apple, like any other businesses in the world, has a goal to make money first and foremost with all other priorities falling somewhere in behind. Whatever priority number 2 was is uncertain. But I can tell you that employee health and well being now occupies that spot. Starting in January 2010, Apple will offer health benefits to not just their full-time staff, but part-timers as well. Such a move is fairly uncommon in the States, though a very welcome one to say the least. With costs consumers are stuck paying rising across the board, getting a break from the digital fruit giant will no doubt take a load of many employee’s shoulders.

Under the new policy change, approximately 9,900 part time employees will be affected by the change and added to the group of roughly 16,500 full-time employees already receiving benefits. I wish more companies in this country could have just a tad more compassion and follow in Apple’s footsteps. If one thing could be highlighted as still needing improvement, it would be the amount of coverage offered. After Apple’s new part-time benefit packages go in effect this January, health insurance costs paid by Apple will level out at 65% — about 8% below the national average of 73%. So while more people are getting access to health coverage, those people are paying more under health insurance than most. Still, paying more with health insurance is a hell of a lot less than paying for medical bills out of pocket without health insurance. You know how it is. Every little bit helps.

Apple, you just earned a nice gold star for the day.

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