Losing Health Insurance - Posted by raelynn mitchell

Posted by raelynn mitchell on December 09, 1998 at 12:27:33:

I worked as a temporary worker for several years. One of the positions I held had me reviewing and approving bills for payment. Funny thing about health insurance: it’s overrated. People work strange jobs they hate because they “need the benefits”.

Several friends even to this day look at me strange when I suggest they quit that “permanent” job and get a temporary job doing exactly the same thing but paying $3-7 more per hour. But what I learned when approving corporate bills for payment was, when you took what the company paid for health benefits and divided it by 4 weeks in a month, divided that number by 40 hours, you usually got between $1-2.50 per hour. So my thinking is this: get the higher paying job, call Kaiser Permanente or some other HMO (Blue Cross, etc.) and find out what it takes to get their individual insurance (they call it different things) and pay for your OWN health insurance (and have more $$$ left!).

And another thing that’s “funny” about a “permanent” job: I’ve seen temps end up being the last one to be let go in some instances. That permanent job may not be so permanent. But at least as a temp you know it in advance and can plan and prepare for it. Often I slept better knowing that another job was simply a phone call away, whereas a lot of times people working “permanent” are so shell-shocked when they get downsized that it can take them weeks just to recover from the shock.

Another consideration for benefits: incorporate. If you were an employee of your company and the company sought health insurance for all of its employees, there is often no “pre-existing condition” clause or physical exam requirement.

In my husband’s situation, companies that have tried to hire him and get him to leave his temp agency have often started out offering him $2-3 less per hour, saying “but you have benefits”. And then when he starts asking questions about the benefits, he learns that the company giving the benefits often deducts anywhere from $150-400 per month from the employee’s paycheck for those benefits, AFTER having taken a reduction in wages AND requiring co-payments from the employee every time he sees the doctor! So I say again, BENEFITS ARE HIGHLY OVERRATED!

I don’t in any way mean to trivialize your personal situation. It’s just that often people don’t realize just how much they give up in order to have benefits.

Just my 2 cents worth.