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Old 02-23-2013, 11:41 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by W2R

Now you are making me feel old! Back in the 1960's, I was put in charge of an office and eventually a typist was hired as my assistant. Despite the fact that the typist was brand new, he earned twice what I was earning, plus, he was a hunt-and-peck typist whereas my typing was decent so I was doing a lot of his job. When I mentioned the wage disparity to my boss, he told me that the typist was a man and needed the money. The typist was single, as I was, so that didn't make much sense to me but back in those days that sort of weirdness was still not that uncommon.
Now, W2R, quit playing dumb. You knew back then the man was still supposed to "sow his oats" for awhile, and thus needed the cash, while you should have been married already. That wasn't the companies fault! Seriously though, I hope we get so far removed from what happened to you, in a few years when you are telling that story to a teenager, they will think you made that "crazy story"up.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:47 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Healthcare and employment have nothing in common, and as long as one depends upon the other, inequitable outcomes will always be one result. The sooner the two are totally separate, the better, and also the easier it will be to reform healthcare.
+3

2014 is going to be an interesting year for health insurance.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:21 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
So add $65 to the employee's portion to pay for spousal coverage?
Our company charges $100 / month for spousal coverage.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:56 AM   #24
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Several members seem to be mistaking employee premiums for total cost of health care, the latter is what businesses understandably care about, premiums are usually trivial by comparison.

Incidentally the same mistake most of the general population makes (seeing premiums and out of pocket costs as all there is). If more people understood what health care really costs them, there would be much more of an uproar...
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:07 AM   #25
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Incidentally the same mistake most of the general population makes (seeing premiums and out of pocket costs as all there is). If more people understood what health care really costs them, there would be much more of an uproar...
Yes, that is the issue with saying " Don't worry about it, it's free, the insurance will pay for it.". It's the reason we have waiting rooms full of people that don't even really need to see a doctor. In many cases we are over "doctored".
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:25 PM   #26
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I may misunderstand your view, every company I worked for had several rates. Used to be single or family. By the time I retired there were three, single, single+one, and family (3 or more).
As it was at the two megacorps I worked at (one merged with the other). I expect it to move to a per person charge over time, in particular with ACA its not clear to me if you just cover the employee do you pay the penalty? If so it would be cheaper to just cover the employee and let the employee pay for all others. (Of course this would contribute to the birth dirth, as not family friendly). My megacorp now covers active employees at the 80% level, and retired employees get the contribution they got when they left plus 4% per year increase, plus retired employees are in a separate pool.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:20 PM   #27
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Several members seem to be mistaking employee premiums for total cost of health care, the latter is what businesses understandably care about, premiums are usually trivial by comparison.

Incidentally the same mistake most of the general population makes (seeing premiums and out of pocket costs as all there is). If more people understood what health care really costs them, there would be much more of an uproar...
Yeah, you've got to wonder if many people think "affordable" health insurance should cost what they are used to paying their employer.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:27 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by rbmrtn

Yes, that is the issue with saying " Don't worry about it, it's free, the insurance will pay for it.". It's the reason we have waiting rooms full of people that don't even really need to see a doctor. In many cases we are over "doctored".
I had thought that too, but once I read an article recently that quoted 23% of people consume 83% of the total costs of healthcare and most of that 83% was spent on the extremely young or extremely old, my assumption now would be that probably isn't a big factor as far as total health costs go. I think we are now dealing with the problem of healthier living. I often read that healthier people consume more total healthcare costs because they live longer and incur those extremely costly health problems involving Alzheimer's and long term nursing care. I have read studies that state smokers consume less total lifetime healthcare costs because they die off earlier.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:49 PM   #29
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Usually about the time of open enrollment the company sends a form that lists their contribution along with the employee contribution. Or if there is a intranet site for HR it likely provides that information as well. So its not like one has to go on a long search for the information it is there.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:21 PM   #30
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Actually if you think about it paying a higher amount for family health care coverage for a worker than if he is single by a company does not really coincide with any reasonable definition of an employees worth. It is rather a company subsidy encouraging some behaviors such as having children. I see companies moving to saying that if you want to cover a spouse your contribution towards health insurance increases.
This reminded me of something which happened in early 2008, the last year I was working for my company and was not yet 100% sure I would ER by the end of that year.

In 2007, I had reduced my weekly work hours from 20 to 12 and had made myself ineligible for enrolment in my company's group health plan. Instead, I went on COBRA and paid 102% of the company's group health premium to remain covered (for the next 18 months), which ws fine.

But during those 18 months I amde an effort, futile as it was, to try to get my company to either extend COBRA eligibility beyond 18 months (which they were allowed to do) or let me go back into the group health plan with my paying 100% of the premiums (I had been paying 50% as a 20-hours-per-week employee for several years). I thought it would be a no-brainer for them to accept me and not have to subsidize my premiums, unlike all of the other employees.

They said no, claiming it would be "fiscally irresponsible" or some other crying-poverty BS like that. I wrote back saying that they provide subsidized coverage to spouses and children of covered employees even though they do not contribute to their bottom line (i.e. worked zero hours) as I did. Furthermore, I told them that if I quit my job and married another covered employee I could gain group health coverage while contributing less (zero, in fact) to the company's bottom line.

They then told me that my working 12 hours per week placed me into a group of high-risk employees who also worked less than 20 hours. Those employees were usually in their early 60s, not able or willing to work enough hours to be eligible for group health but not old enough for Medicare or the company's retiree health benefits. The fact that I was only 45 at the time made no difference to them.

In my exit interview at the end of 2008, I made sure to point this out to the low-level HR flunkie, showing him the letters (not that I thought it would do any good). While the long, tiring, and sickening commute were reasons 1, 2, and 3 for my resignation, this spat over group health coverage (along with its discrimination against single, unchilded employees) was reason #4.
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