PDA

View Full Version : Health Insurance Question


Slinkyredfoot
01-30-2009, 10:40 PM
We had a meeting today at our company and the decision has been made by our company owners that for the time being they will no longer gonna pay their share of our heath insurance premiums.

I realize the economic situation is bleak right now but the decision is basically a $300 a month hit for all employees and even the people that do not participate in our insurance program are being dinged the $300 out of their paychecks.

After the meeting some employees were discussing the legalities of this decision and whether there are any recourse on their parts and if this is in fact legal. We have a very greedy owner who, in employees opinions, is still living high on the hog and is not sacrificing at all.

We have had numerous layoffs in the last couple of months and I do feel lucky to still be employed but things keep getting worse every week...Does anyone have any comments or insight on this dilemma?

TallRedRider
01-30-2009, 10:50 PM
My opinion is that you are completely out of luck unless you are under contract that somehow states what your benefits are. This is free market capitalism and the owner has the right to take away your benefits.

You have no 'right' to health insurance.

He does not understand that this hurts morale badly and is likely going to hurt the company's performance, but it sounds like he has a communication problem, or he is a selfish boss. If he ratchets things down tight enough, he will lose employees voluntarily. Then the business will ultimately fail, or he will start to offer benefits again that attract better workers.

Slinkyredfoot
01-30-2009, 11:01 PM
He definitely has a communication problem and is basically oblivious to anyones needs other than his own, but his basic contention is where is anyone gonna go now and find other employment with the job market the way it is. Morale is at an all time low and I know people are looking but not much is out there right now and our owner knows it.

Sure I am affected and it sucks, but I truly feel for the people that $300 is a big bite out of their checks

93Prostar190
01-30-2009, 11:06 PM
First of all you have my sympathy for your situation. As a business owner who is also concerned about his business and customer's viability, I have no intention of cutting our employees benefits in spite of the economic downturn.

In tough times like these real leadership is needed by business owners and the like. Beat the odds grow your business during these times ... find a way. Don't punish employees that work hard for your company.

Sorry, I am now off my soapbox .... on the legality side of things, I don't think you have much re-course unless there is an employment contract that clearly states the benefit is part of your compensation and you are contractualy entitled to it.

Maybe one of your companies key customers would be interested in hearing about the decision and their leadership may contact your owner directly and let him/her know that they do not like doing business with a company that pulls benefits from employees. The bad image may cost your company more revenue than the cost of the benefit is currently costing you.

In tough times, take care of your customers, and in turn they will take care of you.

Best of luck. You have our support!

TX.X-30 fan
01-30-2009, 11:35 PM
In the end what does the business owner do??? If there are no revenues to pay these benefits what would you suggest he do? I don't pretend to know your boss Slinky but at some point something has to give, unless this guy is able to crap money how does he make payroll without revenue?? Good luck my friend, I pay over 700 a month for my own insurance so things could be worse.

BobbyGagnon
01-31-2009, 12:20 AM
This is the type of crisis that we will be facing. Employers and companies cutting back to make it through. Many companies are making financial decisions now in preparatrion for the expected tax increase that our new president and congress said they will do. It is not going to get better anytime soon. I say several years and there is very little that our politicians in congress is willing and can do. Someone has to flip the bill for the already failing attempt by congress to bail out the financial institutions/banks that was tanking last quarter. Now that they have just passed the 900 Billion stimulus plan in which billions of dollars for earmarks was slid in by your congress and obama that doesn't relate to stimulating our economy. Such as 200 Million for re-soding the park in DC. I am in the insurance business and I understand how you and your family is placed in this health insurance crunch. Just hang in there, keep the morales up because you need your company to stay successful. There are not a lot of jobs available right now and believe it or not, it is the educated and college graduates that will be losing their jobs before the non college graduates because they demand higher wages. The govt. needs to stay out of it, printing fony money is what got us in this mess. Let the people and consumers decide who stays in business.

ski_king
01-31-2009, 12:26 AM
..... and even the people that do not participate in our insurance program are being dinged the $300 out of their paychecks........

I would like to know his reasoning and the legality on that part.

On Jan 2, we got a notice that our paid sick days were reduced by 40% and there is now one less holiday per year. Our health insurance renews on July 1 and I am sure there will be some sad changes there also.

Oh, we just fnished a record year where sales and shipment increased by 50% over last year. Sure glad last year wasn't a bad year for us. :rolleyes:

TX.X-30 fan
01-31-2009, 02:36 AM
This is the type of crisis that we will be facing. Employers and companies cutting back to make it through. Many companies are making financial decisions now in preparatrion for the expected tax increase that our new president and congress said they will do. It is not going to get better anytime soon. I say several years and there is very little that our politicians in congress is willing and can do. Someone has to flip the bill for the already failing attempt by congress to bail out the financial institutions/banks that was tanking last quarter. Now that they have just passed the 900 Billion stimulus plan in which billions of dollars for earmarks was slid in by your congress and obama that doesn't relate to stimulating our economy. Such as 200 Million for re-soding the park in DC. I am in the insurance business and I understand how you and your family is placed in this health insurance crunch. Just hang in there, keep the morales up because you need your company to stay successful. There are not a lot of jobs available right now and believe it or not, it is the educated and college graduates that will be losing their jobs before the non college graduates because they demand higher wages. The govt. needs to stay out of it, printing fony money is what got us in this mess. Let the people and consumers decide who stays in business.




Stellar 1st post.

TMCNo1
01-31-2009, 10:20 AM
Unfortunately, some states have a "At Will" employment law that says employers can change benefits, terminate a employee at will without reason as long as you are not covered under a contract. The same law applies to employees who quit their jobs, can do so without reason.
However, the mere fact that an employment contract is in writing is not sufficient to overcome the presumption that the employment/benefits is at-will. To overcome this presumption, an employment contract must directly limit, in a meaningful and special way, the employer's right to terminate/change benefits the employee without cause. In other words, the employer has to unequivocally indicate that it will not terminate the employee/change benefits except under specific circumstances.

mccobmd
01-31-2009, 10:59 AM
Having been a small business owner and also a physician I know both sides. We were forced to drop family coverage and cover just employee's. There are sometimes greedy bosses but some are trying to help the most people keep their jobs that they can. When I was in my private practice I has some patients I would treat that would come in telling me they couldn't pay their bill while driving a newer car than mine with a newer cell phone. Forty years ago you went to the doctor and paid cash. If you felt the treatment or surgery were necessary you were willing to pay for it. Now I am seeing more of an attitude that health care is something someone else needs to provide so I have more money to spend the way I want. This doesn't ususally apply to your group that is working hard to provide for thier family and just wondering how you're going to make end meet. I might suggest looking at a health savings account and medical insurance that covers everyting over 10000. We did that for our employees and they were able to continue coverage for their whole families and it was cost neutral for us. Good luck and I feel for you. For what it's worth my cousin in Denmark has "free" government sponsored healthcare but his total tax rate is 50%.

TX.X-30 fan
01-31-2009, 11:22 AM
Good luck and I feel for you. For what it's worth my cousin in Denmark has "free" government sponsored healthcare but his total tax rate is 50%.



I think this is the plan for us, the failed western European socialist model.

turbosdad
01-31-2009, 01:55 PM
MCCOBMD,

what is the quality of the "free" government healthcare??????

turbosdad
01-31-2009, 02:11 PM
He definitely has a communication problem and is basically oblivious to anyones needs other than his own, but his basic contention is where is anyone gonna go now and find other employment with the job market the way it is. Morale is at an all time low and I know people are looking but not much is out there right now and our owner knows it.

Sure I am affected and it sucks, but I truly feel for the people that $300 is a big bite out of their checks


Often, both sides dont understand the other side. Most employees think the "boss or bosses" make too much. Would the team be willing to work or do extra if they could keep their healthcare. Bring ideas to the management team. My guess is this is not their first choice. When times are good as they have been, management pays employees as much as they can. Then when that edge pulls back, it is hard to pull back in the area of wages and benefits. Another management option will be to reduce the staff and ask the remaining to work harder. Things will not be the same for awhile, survivors will have to dig in and work harder.

Maybe all employees to agree to a 3% wage reduction, not to lose the benefits. Let the team come up with the answer for management. Best of luck

TX.X-30 fan
01-31-2009, 02:52 PM
What a great response turbodad.

Do you know any rain-dances, if so we need a good one or your favorite lake may not be too much fun this summer.

ejg333
01-31-2009, 03:08 PM
Things are tough everywhere I work for the State of California and we are being hit with a 10% salary reduction (two days off no pay) it is better than being laid off but any cuts hurt.

jdl xstar
01-31-2009, 03:28 PM
MCCOBMD,

what is the quality of the "free" government healthcare??????

Much of my family lives in Denmark (Larsen is the Smith of Denmark) and I know the healthcare is top notch. True that they pay taxes of > 50% but EVERYTHING is covered. Health, education and they even help subsidise housing after college graduation. But its also mandatory to serve time in the military, so there are catches.

When we were there for a family get together, my aunt, who is not a Danish citizen, had an appendectomy in Copenhagen and they took care of it all. When she was discharged, we were asking about billing and they just looked at us like we were crazy. They literaly did not have a billing department. So we just walked out of the hospital and that was it - even for a non citizen. Rather amazing.

That culture is very different than ours which is why it works so well. I'll go to another message board to expand on that!

Ski-me
01-31-2009, 08:59 PM
When I switched over from Real Estate (self insured) to my engineering job, we elected to keep our current insurance. The amount for the premium we were paying was actually a little lower than my engineering company. We had an HSA with a $5,000 deductable. For the whole family, we were paying around $400/month.

We decided to raise our deductable to $10k a few months ago for our household cashflow and our monthly payment is now $259. We are assuming to stay pretty healthy as we are in our late 30's with kids but if something monumental happened....were covered after $10k (and 100% covered). Doing it this way makes us pay more attention if we really need to go to the doctor or not. Something that is lacking in our current health care society (my opinion here). Rather than going in at the first cough and raising "everyone" premiums, we decide on our own.

Anyways, for a nice comparison site we used:

http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/

I would rather keep my job and the company doors open than have all the perks/benefits. We do have an emergency fund already set up so if something were to happen, we are prepared.....

turbosdad
01-31-2009, 09:33 PM
What a great response turbodad.

Do you know any rain-dances, if so we need a good one or your favorite lake may not be too much fun this summer.

how is the level at Travis right now???? We are already planning our dates for getting there, but heck yeah, I think we are in the middle of one of the worst droughts on record. I am a rain dancing as hard as I can....dont want to go anyplace else.

turbosdad
01-31-2009, 09:36 PM
Much of my family lives in Denmark (Larsen is the Smith of Denmark) and I know the healthcare is top notch. True that they pay taxes of > 50% but EVERYTHING is covered. Health, education and they even help subsidise housing after college graduation. But its also mandatory to serve time in the military, so there are catches.

When we were there for a family get together, my aunt, who is not a Danish citizen, had an appendectomy in Copenhagen and they took care of it all. When she was discharged, we were asking about billing and they just looked at us like we were crazy. They literaly did not have a billing department. So we just walked out of the hospital and that was it - even for a non citizen. Rather amazing.

That culture is very different than ours which is why it works so well. I'll go to another message board to expand on that!

When we dont know anything else, we hear the nightmare stories. Do they blow you off when you get old??? older?? Is the 50% straight across the board?? Do you have a choice of military service and forego insurance. What's a gram of has ......uhhh nevermind. Thanks for the insight.

TX.X-30 fan
01-31-2009, 09:44 PM
how is the level at Travis right now???? We are already planning our dates for getting there, but heck yeah, I think we are in the middle of one of the worst droughts on record. I am a rain dancing as hard as I can....dont want to go anyplace else.




Like 655 now but much lower and most ramps are done for. We have 2 here still ok but one is a temp area and the other is deep but the concrete is dry so you have the bow eye problem loading. We just need a wet spring, fingers crossed. We will meet up in cow creek and have a beer this summer.

Slinkyredfoot
01-31-2009, 10:02 PM
Stellar 1st post.

I totally agree..

Slinkyredfoot
01-31-2009, 10:10 PM
In the end what does the business owner do??? If there are no revenues to pay these benefits what would you suggest he do? I don't pretend to know your boss Slinky but at some point something has to give, unless this guy is able to crap money how does he make payroll without revenue?? Good luck my friend, I pay over 700 a month for my own insurance so things could be worse.

He is really into cutting horses thing...travels to your neck of the woods a lot, spends big bucks for his passion and that is cool....

We have good growth and revenues are lower now...I could really give a flying whatever what he does, but being a manager of other people it is just their preception of the guy and his family...and mine too frankly.

I have always believed in hard times one leads by example and by this definition he is a piss poor leader.

And you are correct things could be worse and I am happy and blessed for what I have.

TX.X-30 fan
02-01-2009, 02:45 AM
He is really into cutting horses thing...travels to your neck of the woods a lot, spends big bucks for his passion and that is cool....

We have good growth and revenues are lower now...I could really give a flying whatever what he does, but being a manager of other people it is just their preception of the guy and his family...and mine too frankly.

I have always believed in hard times one leads by example and by this definition he is a piss poor leader.

And you are correct things could be worse and I am happy and blessed for what I have.



Those cutting horse things get pricey quick. Like you said who gives a crap if we are taking care of the home front. Seem prevalent this aura of superiority business men have adopted without regard for who in the end pays the bills. Good luck Steve.

bigmac
02-01-2009, 10:11 AM
I think this is the plan for us, the failed western European socialist model.

Nah. The US will never be able to afford a single-payer system like that, even if Americans would accept the rationing of health care that those systems are built on.

TX.X-30 fan
02-01-2009, 12:40 PM
So your saying the answer is some form of Soilent-Green :D

bigmac
02-01-2009, 02:29 PM
So your saying the answer is some form of Soilent-Green :D
Still too expensive. I'm talkin' putting grandma and grandpa out on an ice floe and wave goodbye....

TX.X-30 fan
02-01-2009, 02:53 PM
Still too expensive. I'm talkin' putting grandma and grandpa out on an ice floe and wave goodbye....




That's what I'm talking about, also solves the problem of means testing SS. :D:D

Slinkyredfoot
02-01-2009, 06:51 PM
Unfortunately, some states have a "At Will" employment law that says employers can change benefits, terminate a employee at will without reason as long as you are not covered under a contract. The same law applies to employees who quit their jobs, can do so without reason.
However, the mere fact that an employment contract is in writing is not sufficient to overcome the presumption that the employment/benefits is at-will. To overcome this presumption, an employment contract must directly limit, in a meaningful and special way, the employer's right to terminate/change benefits the employee without cause. In other words, the employer has to unequivocally indicate that it will not terminate the employee/change benefits except under specific circumstances.

Spoken like a true politician....what the heck did you just say........;)

TMCNo1
02-01-2009, 07:05 PM
Spoken like a true politician....what the heck did you just say........;)


I dunno, I thought it was self splainatory!

mccobmd
02-01-2009, 10:22 PM
My cousin says the quality of preventative care is good. If you have an emergency it's good, if you have a gallbladder or kidney stone that isn't emergent it's 6 months of waiting. I think it will resemble the model in the UK where you can use the "free" system and pay with your time and waiting or the private "money up front system" that is available. But keep in mind in most socialized medicine systems if you get cancer recurrence you get hospice, if you have a baby born before 28 weeks it get's oxygen and observation. It is like anything else there are upsides an downsides no matter what the system.

bigmac
02-01-2009, 10:33 PM
My cousin says the quality of preventative care is good. If you have an emergency it's good, if you have a gallbladder or kidney stone that isn't emergent it's 6 months of waiting. I think it will resemble the model in the UK where you can use the "free" system and pay with your time and waiting or the private "money up front system" that is available. But keep in mind in most socialized medicine systems if you get cancer recurrence you get hospice, if you have a baby born before 28 weeks it get's oxygen and observation. It is like anything else there are upsides an downsides no matter what the system.

That's what I meant about rationing of health care. It's the old triangle...good health care, convenient health care, cheap health care. You can have any two of the three. The US has opted for 1 and 2 and *****es because they can't have all three.

The US makes an effort at preventive medicine, but with McDonalds on every corner that's a losing battle. The life expectancy in the US is pretty damn good considering the extraordinary level of obesity in the general US population.

turbosdad
02-01-2009, 11:14 PM
So your saying the answer is some form of Soilent-Green :D


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sp-VFBbjpE

a real classic.....and the answer to health insurance problems everywhere!!??

TX.X-30 fan
02-02-2009, 12:34 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sp-VFBbjpE

a real classic.....and the answer to health insurance problems everywhere!!??




Too funny turbosdad. :D its people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8p