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Health Insurance - Job Related

post #1 of 176
Thread Starter 
How is it that we cannot undue tying health insurance with work. I get the idea of group rates, but the fact of the matter is the markets are pretty efficient and that we seem to be able to deal wwith non-group plans in all other types of insurance.

iMO, health insurance and health care would be far more efficient if we had real portability and choices, but we don't seem to want to give up the tax breaks that go with employer plans. It's cheaper for a company to pay you in health premiums that actual cash, and we see to like having health care covered by our employers. But that takes away basic market forces that lead to the industry responding to consumer demands.
post #2 of 176
It was mainly done to attract and retain talent. This started a long time ago and will take a long time to undo. But wait until I retire. biggrin.gif
post #3 of 176
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffT View Post

It was mainly done to attract and retain talent. This started a long time ago and will take a long time to undo. But wait until I retire. biggrin.gif

BS It was cheaper than having to pay you equivalent in salary. If it was taxable as ordinary income then it would make no difference whether a company paid you in salary or insurance to attract and retain you.
post #4 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by NS Mike D View Post

But that takes away basic market forces that lead to the industry responding to consumer demands.
Assume there was an adjustment and people were given the choice. How many people, if given that choice, would opt out of health insurance and take the cash instead, but never buy insurance with the cash?
post #5 of 176
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kings over Queens View Post

Assume there was an adjustment and people were given the choice. How many people, if given that choice, would opt out of health insurance and take the cash instead, but never buy insurance with the cash?

how many people drive uninsured?
post #6 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kings over Queens View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by NS Mike D View Post

But that takes away basic market forces that lead to the industry responding to consumer demands.
Assume there was an adjustment and people were given the choice. How many people, if given that choice, would opt out of health insurance and take the cash instead, but never buy insurance with the cash?

Therein lies the rub because we are then left with a situation further muddied by the EMTALA. The whole thing is a mess from top to bottom.
post #7 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by NS Mike D View Post

how many people drive uninsured?
Not the question I asked.

But since you seem determined to respond to a question with a question, the better question is "How many people who own registered cars drive uninsured?"
post #8 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by NS Mike D View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kings over Queens View Post

Assume there was an adjustment and people were given the choice. How many people, if given that choice, would opt out of health insurance and take the cash instead, but never buy insurance with the cash?

how many people drive uninsured?

Plenty.
That is why my insurance has an 'uninsured vehicle' clause.
It must happen enough that the ins co created this clause.

I think health insurance is a personal decision. Not something that covers a privilege like auto insurance, or boat insurance.

My opinion as to why employers started offering health insurance as a perk is that folks used to either buy insurance privately, if they could afford it, and went with out if they couldn't.
The employers could get group rates, and could offer insurance to employees at a discount compared to a private buy.
it was a deal that worked out for all sides. The worker got cheaper insurance, the boss got to offer a perk at a discount, and the insurance companies got new members.
Now the government wants some vig.
post #9 of 176
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kings over Queens View Post

Not the question I asked.

But since you seem determined to respond to a question with a question, the better question is "How many people who own registered cars drive uninsured?"

dont know but I think most people who own registered cars have insurance. and from personal experience, I have many more choices and it seems to me it's a fairly competitive industry. My guess is that auto insurance hasn't seen the same type of inflation that health insurance has, and I doubt that the cost of repairing a car of the chances of getting sued have gone down.
post #10 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by NS Mike D View Post


BS It was cheaper than having to pay you equivalent in salary. 

BACK IN THE DAY... it may have been cheaper to pay for medical benefits. That was before all of the mal-practice law suits and the increase in insurance rates. Today, it is probably cheaper to just give you a $5k increase in salary. However, like other people have mentioned here it is now expected that your employer have medical benefits for you.

post #11 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by NS Mike D View Post

dont know but I think most people who own registered cars have insurance. and from personal experience, I have many more choices and it seems to me it's a fairly competitive industry.
Again, if you go back to my original question, how many people would take the money and not buy health insurance.

There are plenty of people who live in Manhattan and don't own cars, therefor, no car insurance.

This is why I don't like when people introduce car insurance into a discussion about health insurance.

Are you going to allow Health Insurance companies to actually underwrite coverage and charge premiums according to risk, like they do with car insurance (since you introduced it)? Perhaps you will see a day, and soon, where group health insurance is a thing of the past, and private coverage is in the majority. Using your analogy of uninsured drivers, the government has now mandated health insurance, just like car insurance, and so you are one step closer to removing the "perk" angle of health insurance benefits.
post #12 of 176
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricJ View Post

BACK IN THE DAY... it may have been cheaper to pay for medical benefits. That was before all of the mal-practice law suits and the increase in insurance rates. Today, it is probably cheaper to just give you a $5k increase in salary. However, like other people have mentioned here it is now expected that your employer have medical benefits for you.

the math is more complicated that so say just pay you the $5k. Health premiums are tax deductible for a company. But for arguments sake, let's assume that $5k is their real cost of a health care premium for an employee. They would have to pay you about $8k for you to afford the same $5k policy after taxes.

But perks are a funny thing. People generally like perks more than their real value in salary.
post #13 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by NS Mike D View Post



But perks are a funny thing. People generally like perks more than their real value in salary.

That is exactly right and I WAS going to say that too but felt it was a little much for one post. Besides, there is typically a "salary range" for a particular position within an industry. A company CAN pay you towards the lower half of that range while still supplying you with medical benefits. Some employers do not provide dental even though that cost is not as expensive.

 

Under our plan, my company covers $1000 per yer for kids' braces. Their orthodontist said he never saw that before and that the coverage was excellent. Makes me feel good when determining whether the benefits that I receive are up to par. However, it is possible that I could go out and find a job that pays me $1500 more per year and then come out ahead with the braces.

 

In the end, who wants to have to worry about finding health insurance? It is hard enough shopping for auto insurance. Much easier knowing that it all comes with the job and all you need to do is sign up.

post #14 of 176
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kings over Queens View Post

Again, if you go back to my original question, how many people would take the money and not buy health insurance.

There are plenty of people who live in Manhattan and don't own cars, therefor, no car insurance.

This is why I don't like when people introduce car insurance into a discussion about health insurance.

Are you going to allow Health Insurance companies to actually underwrite coverage and charge premiums according to risk, like they do with car insurance (since you introduced it)? Perhaps you will see a day, and soon, where group health insurance is a thing of the past, and private coverage is in the majority. Using your analogy of uninsured drivers, the government has now mandated health insurance, just like car insurance, and so you are one step closer to removing the "perk" angle of health insurance benefits.

if I don't have a car I don't get car insurance. But million of americans do own cars and get car insurance. But we all have our health, so what does that have to do with the price of herbs in poland?

Let me ask you another question, how many people have group life AND private life, or convert their group life into private life when they change jobs. It's the existence of a true private life market that makes life insurance affordable to the average american.

As I said, the tax code limits the market forces to that would otherwise lead to affordable health care.
post #15 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricJ View Post

Today, it is probably cheaper to just give you a $5k increase in salary.
It isn't.

The company has to match the tax on the 5k, so add another 6% and change, plus workers' compensation costs (those depend on the industry/job), plus your end of the payroll tax (6% and change). It's cheaper to pay people in benefits. They are fully taxable to the employer and non taxable to the employee.

And that may be one of the reasons that we won't likely see a change soon. The tax code motivates this behavior probably more than anything else.
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