Deena Shanker – Bloomberg ::: Trainers at Equinox, a national high-end gym chain that offers Kiehl’s body lotion, on-site athletic gear shops, and eucalyptus-infused towels in its lineup of membership amenities, are losing benefits. The company touts its personal trainers as “the best of the best” on its website. Training staff “will attend over 150 hours of internal education” over their careers, on topics that include kinesiology and orthopedic injury. This hip, luxe vision of fitness can cost more than $200 each month, depending on location and level of access.
But trainers say the luxe lifestyle doesn’t extend to them. The company, which has 36 locations in New York and 50 more around the country and internationally, has changed its health insurance offerings, making comprehensive medical coverage out of reach for many of its trainers.
On Jan. 1, many of the company’s trainers lost a big portion of their health insurance. In 2016, a personal trainer working at least 44 hours every two weeks at the company could choose from three medical benefits packages, according to internal Equinox documents obtained by Bloomberg. These plans included coverage for visits to primary care doctors and specialists, hospital care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and prescription drugs.
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