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Why the Hell do we in the USA connect our jobs to our healthcare?

 
 
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 01:51 pm
How did we get here?
We don't get our auto insurance through our employer.
We don't get our home insurance through our employer.
We don't get life insurance on ourselves or our children through our job.
We have to buy Medicare and Medicaid gap insurance on our own.
Most of us get dental coverage the same way, on our own.
When we insure our motorcycle, boat, travel trailer, our employer is none the wiser.
But, when we get a job, we sign up for the health insurance (IF any is offered.)


It's supposed to be a good deal,
(some happy horseshit about how employers get big discounts. And why is that anyway, because all the paperwork is done and sent in?? That might have saved some cost years ago but now everything's done on your computer, right? )
but, think about it. Your employer gets the cheapest coverage possible to hold down the cost, so sometimes the coverage isn't worth all that much or the co-pays are sky-high per visit or procedure.

To say nothing about how many companies you get to choose from when you do sign up for the coverage.
That would be ONE, folks.
One.
In what other insurance situation is there a choice of one company? (Maybe when you buy the insurance on your cellphone)
But if you were told you had to get your car insured and that there was only one company to sign up with, you'd (I'm talking to the 'mericans here.) be pissed.
It would be like going to a restaurant and finding out they only serve turkey burgers and Diet Coke.

Now they (the GOP) is saying it's just dandy if your employer acts as a moral guide for you in terms of your health insurance.
Birth Control, it's a no-no for you if they say so.

Gah. Land of the Free.

So,
How do we get out of this?

Joe(who wants to start?)Nation
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Type: Question • Score: 20 • Views: 6,065 • Replies: 90

 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 01:56 pm
@Joe Nation,
and then try finding employment when you are chronically ill.

they will call me when something comes open...
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  3  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 02:01 pm
@Joe Nation,
I think they got connected at a time when wages were frozen. It was a cute way to compensate employees, without giving them a raise. Like all benefits, it came to be expected.

The only problem I see is that employers get a tax deduction, and employees pay their portion with pretax income. In essence, covered employees and their employers are subsidized by people who do not have on the job insurance, and these people are very less able to pay than those who receive the benefits.

Georgeob has said that his company offers several insurance plans. The company I last worked certainly did not force us into the cheapest plan, though they finally came up with a second choice with lower premiums, higher deductable and larger co-pays. Again, it was a choice.
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 02:19 pm
Thanks, Joes,for verbalizing what I have wondered for a long time.

But here we are in this mess and the alternative is a national program, what is just what we don't want to see either.

These insurance companies have 'packages' and the employer should have the choice of what they want to offer to their employees. Many people take a job because of the benefits offered, so it is an incentive. So - that's it. You get what you get - and don't expect boob jobs to be covered, either. I doubt if that's going to ever be offered in an employee's package, even though it's an available medical procedure.

If the employee doesn't want what the employer offers, they should be able to go get their own coverage AT A COMPARABLE, REASONABLE price.

(Notice how these political hot topics involve SEX? It's to distract us from the real issues)

0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 02:19 pm
@roger,
If they are going to do that, offer several levels of insurance, why not just tell the employee, "Find a company you like who will insure you for $_____.00, we will pay that premium amount from your pre-tax wages, just like we do your 401K."

Then, if you ever quit your job, or even if you got fired, you would still be insured because you are the one who signed up for the policy. You'd pay the premium while unemployed (and not that bullshit COBRA insurance.)

You'd look for your next job saying," My salary needs are $___________.oo and my health insurance premium is currently $_____.00."

AND just like your auto insurance, or your home insurance, you could constantly shop around looking for better coverage. What's wrong with that?

Joe(COBRA didn't cover me because my previous employer, who went belly up, had one too few employees......arrrgh.)Nation
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 02:22 pm
@Joe Nation,
why not remove it from employers period, Joe.

makes more sense to me.

if everyone has to pay their own, why involve employers?
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 02:24 pm
@Joe Nation,
Quote:

AND just like your auto insurance, or your home insurance, you could constantly shop around looking for better coverage. What's wrong with that?


Well, in order to properly comparison shop, you'd need the health care and insurance market to be a hell of a lot more transparent than it currently is. This would also introduce price pressure to drive down costs, which would drive down profits for the insurers and hospitals and doctors.

Obviously, we can't have that. There is simply no interest in anyone doing what you say, because everyone involved profits much more from the arcane system we have than they would from a fully open one.

Cycloptichorn
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 02:38 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Competitive pricing - JUST what you see in the plastic surgery 'industry".

We see "two for one' procedures on sale around here all the time. Boobs and Botox for one low price . . .
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 03:33 pm
@Joe Nation,
Joe Nation wrote:

If they are going to do that, offer several levels of insurance, why not just tell the employee, "Find a company you like who will insure you for $_____.00, we will pay that premium amount from your pre-tax wages, just like we do your 401K."


I don't know why not. Actually, it would be easier to cut the company out entirely, and let everyone deduct the premium from taxes - without having to clear the very high hurdle for medical deductions. In fact, we might as well allow the deduction without losing the benefit of the standard deduction, as the premiums at work apply whether one itemizes or takes standard deduction.
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 03:40 pm
@roger,
Makes sense to me.

Joe(and we lose the connection to our jobs completely)Nation
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 03:57 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Well, I'm 64 (will u still need me....?) and EVERY insurance company in North America is sending me Medicare Supplement Insurance plans.
Good.
I've been reading them all to make my choice.
What would be so fricking hard about doing that for 21 year olds and then emailing them every year or so with better offers?
I mean, cripes, I get offers every day now from anti-virus programs because I cancelled McAfee, do you think it would be so difficult for people to pick out their own healthcare plan?

We seem to manage the differences between life insurance policies just fine, because we can compare them.

Joe(we need to start a movement)Nation
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 04:41 pm
@Joe Nation,
Joe, a Plan A is a Plan A. An F is an F. Decide what part of the alphabet you like and look at the prices. Period. What each letter offers is regulated.

The other decision is between PART C, or (not and) the various letter designated plans. A 'Part' is not a 'Plan'.

Hope I removed some of the burden of decision making. Just don't mix up plans A, B, C, and D with the medigap choices they are not the same.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 05:01 pm
Maybe I'm not understanding something Joe.

I've always gotten my health, life, dental and vision services through work.

The premiums I paid for me and my family were just a small portion of what they would have been if I tried to get it on my own. I can't remember off hand, but my premiums had to be less than 20% of the total, I'm thinking really a lot less than that. I'm being conservative with that 20% figure.

Plus, I'd have gotten the insurance regardless of my or my husbands health concerns. He had a turn in his health back in 2000, and since that time, I doubt anyone would have insured him if he wasn't able to get it from my job.

I'm unemployed right now, so recently went and bought a short term catastrophic policy, in case I end up in the hospital.
It doesn't cover doctors visits, meds, and doesn't even cover that much of the hospital bill. But, it was better than a poke in the eye w/ a sharp stick.
The monthly premium on this definately so-so coverage is just about what I paid in total for my share of the group insurance I had from work. I opted for this 6 month plan because when I tried to get regular health insurance through another carrier, I was denied because I'm on 1 friggin medication.

Over the last decade we made copious use of my work insurance plan, and never got cancelled or denied for anything.

Big reason I finally left my job was that husband now qualified for Medicare, and I didn't have to worry about him.

I'm very much looking forward to getting another job and getting on another employer health plan.

I thanked God every day I had good affordable insurance through my job. It was the only reason I stayed there the last 5 years out of the 13 total I was there.



Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 05:07 pm
@chai2,
"I thanked God every day I had good affordable insurance through my job. It was the only reason I stayed there the last 5 years out of the 13 total I was there."

what percentage of folks can get those kind of jobs, and is that fair to us as a society?
Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 05:09 pm
I think health care should be an unalienable right...
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 05:12 pm
@Rockhead,
Me too.

On why the hell we in the usa connect our jobs to our healthcare, that is an easy one:
fear of socialism.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 05:14 pm
@ossobuco,
I say it's greed...
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 05:15 pm
@Rockhead,
Ok, that's true. I'm not sure which one is first on the list.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 05:19 pm
@ossobuco,
Being used to greed may be first, and fear of socialism a supportive mode by politicians.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 05:20 pm
Why the Hell do we in the USA connect our jobs to our healthcare?

same thing here in canada, if by job you mean being a citizen Razz
 

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