Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our employees just found out "what's in the bill"

Joy.  Bliss. 

About 500 employees at my workplace, Jukt Micronics, recently found out "what's in the bill" (to quote Nancy Pelosi).

This questionnaire went out to each shop, just to kinda get a feel for how the employees felt about things. 

Here's how the thing was worded:


Starting in 2014, the US government is enacting a law which requires every person to have health insurance or be charged an additional tax.  As a requirement of this law, Jukt Micronics will be providing a plan that you may join.  We need to get an idea of how many employees might be interested in this coverage.  there will be a cost to us as employees with these options. 

* Option 1:  Pay approximately $1,800.00 per year (this breaks down to $150.00 per month or $34.00 per week) for company-provided health care coverage with an estimated deductible of $3,000.00 per individual.

* Option 2: Pay a government fine or tax of $95.00 for the first year or 1% of your annual income, whichever is greater.  (If you made $18,000.00 in box 2 of your W-2 last year, 1% of $180 - just move the decimal point over two places.) 

*Option 3: Obtain insurance coverage through the individual market, i.e. Blue Cross, Aetna, or some other "family plan". 


Work kinda ground to a halt as everyone digested this. 

But let's say you're a low-income worker, making $8.50 per hour.  You're going to pay the fine.  Every time.  They can't turn away pre-existing conditions.  If you get cancer or if you accidentally saw your leg off, you can sign up for insurance in the ambulance (or in my case, the helicopter) on the way to the hospital.  The damn fools wrote it where insurance companies can't turn away anyone with a pre-existing condition. 

Ok, how about high-income workers? 

Same thing.  The only people who will pay $1,800.00 per year with a $3,000.00 deductible are those with incomes higher than $180,000.00
Otherwise, they're better off paying the fine.  (Yeah, the fines go up each year after 2014, but there's no penalty for getting a good deal the first year!!)
They can't turn anyone away from insurance coverage, so signing up for it after you've gotten sick seems to be the only rational response to the law.
As I wrote multiple times during the debates about this madness, no one will stay in the business of insuring the houses that have already caught on fire, but that's what The Teleprompter Jesus has asked insurance companies to do.

As our cleaning guy said, "This thing kinda sounds like slavery." 

I'll be writing more (with some input from our H.R. department) as the questionnaires come in. 

1 comment:

Tim said...

I would be interested in the stats of your survey.