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McDonald's & health ins.
Old 09-30-2010, 01:40 PM   #1
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McDonald's & health ins.

McDonald's Says It May Drop Health Plan - WSJ.com

You'll be hearing about this. Above the actual story.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:49 PM   #2
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I agree with one of the comments.... if they are saying it is a 'major medical' plan then it should follow the rules... OR reduce premiums...

Heck, it doesn't look like much of a deal to me... you could burn $2K pretty quickly with the cost of hospitals...
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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This is "non-insurance insurance" or "anti-insurance." In fact, by covering a small amount of regular, ordinary expenses and leaving you exposed to financial ruin from a major expense, it's exactly the opposite of what insurance should be.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:44 PM   #4
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This is "non-insurance insurance" or "anti-insurance." In fact, by covering a small amount of regular, ordinary expenses and leaving you exposed to financial ruin from a major expense, it's exactly the opposite of what insurance should be.
You get what you pay for - pay more get more, kinda simple.

I would think for the $1679/yr or 139/mo a person would be able to get more than 10K of insurance from an ins co. My only guess is that the people joining can not get other ins. or don't know to shop around.

Anyway, I think the story on the news will be 'McD to cut med. ins for 30K staff'

Maybe I don't understand it all - I was surprised by this statement.
"The packages maybe could be better, but for a start, they're quite good," said Jerry Newman, a professor at State University of New York at Buffalo, who worked under cover at McDonald's to write "My Secret Life on the McJob." He added: "For those who didn't have health insurance through their spouse, it was a life saver."
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:41 PM   #5
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I would think for the $1679/yr or 139/mo a person would be able to get more than 10K of insurance from an ins co. My only guess is that the people joining can not get other ins. or don't know to shop around.
That amount will buy a full HSA eligible plan from our regional HMO for a 19-24 year old, no annual cap, along with a dental plan for up to $2000/year, and have enough left over for a Happy Meal a week.

The goofy $2000 annual capped 'medical insurance' is really just a time payment plan for routine medical care. You can't step inside a non-HMO emergency room around here for less than about $4000. I'm surprised Aetna is selling this stuff. It looks more like one of those GIGA-Health and Poultry Packing plans.
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:57 PM   #6
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I would think for the $1679/yr or 139/mo a person would be able to get more than 10K of insurance from an ins co. My only guess is that the people joining can not get other ins. or don't know to shop around.
That does seem weird. And bad. I agree with the other comments here.

Hmmm, I wonder if the case is, the average worker there w/o any other insurance kinda needs something to cover small expenses, and if they got hit with big expenses, they qualify for MedicAid? That might make it kinda-sorta make sense, but it still seems like a really bad deal. But those living hand-to-mouth are the most in need of low deductible insurance. They can't handle any unexpected costs.

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Old 09-30-2010, 05:23 PM   #7
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This is "non-insurance insurance" or "anti-insurance." In fact, by covering a small amount of regular, ordinary expenses and leaving you exposed to financial ruin from a major expense, it's exactly the opposite of what insurance should be.
I absolutely agree with this statement. A problem that arises is that many people don't want insurance for 'what insurance should be'. Rather, they want something like this product that will cover smaller incremental costs that they see more frequently. The issue that arises is whether MCD should be criticized for providing something that people want instead of something that is (most likely) better for them.
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:53 PM   #8
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This is "non-insurance insurance" or "anti-insurance." In fact, by covering a small amount of regular, ordinary expenses and leaving you exposed to financial ruin from a major expense, it's exactly the opposite of what insurance should be.
Agree.

I wonder if the census data that reports people with health insurance includes people with these plans.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:49 PM   #9
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That amount will buy a full HSA eligible plan from our regional HMO for a 19-24 year old, no annual cap, along with a dental plan for up to $2000/year, and have enough left over for a Happy Meal a week.

The goofy $2000 annual capped 'medical insurance' is really just a time payment plan for routine medical care. You can't step inside a non-HMO emergency room around here for less than about $4000. I'm surprised Aetna is selling this stuff. It looks more like one of those GIGA-Health and Poultry Packing plans.
You've got to consider who is being covered here. These are mostly younger people, high school or college age. They have very little need for health care, but if they have some that will cover a physical or a broken bone from falling off the upstairs balcony while drunk, then great! (Don't ask me how I came up with that example ). The more expensive plans you are talking about wouldn't be able to be afforded on the pittances they earn. McDs is trying to be a good corporate citizen within their boundries, and it's foolish of the gov't to fine them because they don't spend enough of it's premium revenue on medical care. You only pay for medical care if someone goes to the doctor, which most of these kids don't. So are y'all saying it's better to lose the (admittedly meagre) medical coverage offered than it would be to update the rules for the mini-med plans under the Health Care Bill? Seems to me that's the opposite of the intent of the plan.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:00 PM   #10
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No, it's not good health insurance. But, McDonald's doesn't have to offer any sort of insurance (and many businesses don't, especially, for hourly employees).

It's an option that people working at McDonald's now have. They can choose to buy it if they want. Obviously, many of them want it.

If the new health care law results in McDonald's canceling the program, it's hard to see how that is an improvement for those who want to buy this plan right now.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:59 PM   #11
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I think I am in the Ziggy camp on this..... this is NOT health insurance...

Any of these kids can get in a car accident.... or even a number of bones broken at the drunken fall as pointed out... or even skateboarding off a big wall... if they have any kind of major problem they do not have insurance... and the new plan is supposed to have INSURANCE for everybody... not this $2K spending limit crap...


SOOO, either offer a real health insurance program or get rid of what you have... they can buy at the state program or be on their parents until they are 26....
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:52 AM   #12
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You've got to consider who is being covered here. These are mostly younger people, high school or college age. They have very little need for health care, but if they have some that will cover a physical or a broken bone from falling off the upstairs balcony while drunk, then great!
That is true but we have to consider what kind of health care system we want. We can allow choice for everyone about how much coverage they want but, if we do, we cannot do away with pre-existing conditions exemptions. And when a kid does get cancer, or fall into the path of an oncoming car, or get shot (and they do - every day) someone has to pay. I think I have told the story of my nephew who got cancer immediately after graduating college and AFTER his insurance lapsed. Luckily the grad school he signed up for covered him for the illness -- not something he or his family anticipated. The bills for 5 operations, about a month in hospital, extended home care would have wrecked my brother's savings. And there is no way most of us would abandon our kids in a situation like this. I prefer a system where McDs workers (and recent grads) get full coverage even though I have to pay a little more tax to cover their subsidies.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:47 AM   #13
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I prefer a system where McDs workers (and recent grads) get full coverage even though I have to pay a little more tax to cover their subsidies.
I know there are better ways to approach the health insurance situation if we were starting from a clean slate. I'm no fan of linking employment with health insurance,

But let's talk about the real world and the here and now. Call it insurance or anything else: this is a product that these people, after evaluating their own situations, want to buy. I'm pretty sure people working at McDonald's are evaluating every nickle of expenditures (much closer than the US government does, by the way), and they want to buy this product. What business is it of the government to tell them they can't buy it?
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:01 AM   #14
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And again in the real world, here and now, what are these folks other options? There's nothing in place yet to allow them to sign up for affordable health insurance of any sort. If there's a better alternative, fine. I'm sure McDonald's will be glad to fold the costs of their plan back into their profit margin. If they get it all going (the universal, gov't administered, subsidized, affordable, all inclusive insurance), then cool! Let McDs shut their weak but popular insurance down. But until that is in place, maybe loosening up the requirements of the in-it's-infancy Health Care plan regulations to allow an existing popular plan to continue might be an OK idea?
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:25 AM   #15
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The cynic in my says that McD's has a political agenda and knew this would get plenty of free air time. Kind of like the health insurance companies accompanying their latest rate hike with the excuse that health care reform necessitates the rate increase. Like they haven't raised rates every year for at least a decade.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:37 AM   #16
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Whether Aetna or McDonalds (WalMart too?) get an exception to the new regulations is the discussion but not the point.

These folks are not paid enough to afford health care insurance – or much else. There is no choice here. They get some basic coverage to see Doctors, get shots. If they have any need for major medical, they will get it through Medicaid.

McDonalds, Walmart and other major low and minimum wage employers should support health care reform that finally allows their legions of subsistence level employees (and their families) access to reasonable health care.
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The cynic in my says that McD's has a political agenda and knew this would get plenty of free air time. Kind of like the health insurance companies accompanying their latest rate hike with the excuse that health care reform necessitates the rate increase. Like they haven't raised rates every year for at least a decade.
Yeah. Now, everything is due to the reform. Business now uses this as cover to cut costs and deflect the blame.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:47 AM   #17
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Oh, and this.

Mcdonald's Health Care Benefits NOT Getting Cut


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McDonald’s Senior VP Steve Russell denied the reports that surfaced earlier today. Russell said it is “completely false,” that his company has plans to cut health care benefits for some.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:56 AM   #18
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The cynic in my says that McD's has a political agenda and knew this would get plenty of free air time.
Maybe, but McDonald's had this program in place well before the 2008 election. And the fact is that it could have remained in place but for the newly passed legislation.

I guess maybe the timing of the announcement (5 weeks before the election) might be an issue for some, but that's plenty of time for all those who voted for this new law to respond and tell us how much better things are and how we need to appreciate all their hard work.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:25 AM   #19
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I know there are better ways to approach the health insurance situation if we were starting from a clean slate. I'm no fan of linking employment with health insurance,

But let's talk about the real world and the here and now. Call it insurance or anything else: this is a product that these people, after evaluating their own situations, want to buy. I'm pretty sure people working at McDonald's are evaluating every nickle of expenditures (much closer than the US government does, by the way), and they want to buy this product. What business is it of the government to tell them they can't buy it?
I agree - I think that there is something we are all missing if 1.4 million people have signed up for these type plans.
Also, the professor says they are quite good and a quick search didn't show McD being faulted for the plan scope.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:43 PM   #20
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Update

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Almost a million workers, a third of them members of New York’s teachers union, were left out of a consumer protection in U.S. health law meant to cap insurance costs after the government exempted their employers.
Thirty companies and organizations, including Jack in the Box Inc. and the United Federation of Teachers, won’t be required to raise the minimum annual benefit included in low- cost health plans covering seasonal, part-time or low-wage employees. The Department of Health and Human Services said it granted waivers in late September so workers with minimum plans would keep coverage without major premium increases. The agency provided the list of exemptions.
U.S. Waives Health Insurance Minimums for 1 Million - Bloomberg

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The waivers are effective for a year and were granted to insurance plans and companies who showed that employee premiums would rise significantly or that workers would lose coverage without them, Santillo said in an e-mailed statement. The administration announced the waiver program in a Sept. 3 memo.
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