Get Your Own?

  1. I was wondering what you (Nurses) think about employer provided health insurance vs insurance obtained by you (Nurses) through a private health care insurance agency.

    I wanted to know if it was worth it to purchase insurance through my company. How much is it really worth? That kind of thing. I was pricing insurance through a private company and found it to be nearly the same as my employer provided health care insurance. The coverages and costs were almost identical. So, I thought, what is the benefit of having employer sponsered insurance? Is this just an excuse to pay me less?

    I know that in some places, employers reduce the amount they are willing to pay their employees b/c of fringe benefits like insurance and 401k, retirements and such. As a PRN employee I made five more dollars an hour than I do as a full time employee. I have my own investments and savings. I feel as if I am being penalized for being frugal with my money. I know some people can not afford to do the things that I do, but that is because they make poor choices about what is important to them.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this? I kind of feel a little cheated.
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    About weirdRN

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 618; Likes: 42
    LTC Nurse
    Specialty: Long Term Care


  3. by   Daytonite
    Unless the employer is going to be willing to pay you what they would be paying for your health insurance coverage (which they won't--they're going to get away with paying you as little as possible), let them pay for your health insurance. One added advantage that you have is that when you quit you have COBRA coverage for dental and medical coverage for 18 months which you can take advantage of. When you are an individual subscriber, a medical insurer, like a auto insurance company, can drop your insurance at any time, for any reason. They can't do that when you are part of group coverage. Also, in general, they can't put restrictions and pre-clusions on you when you are under group coverage either. Look around. A healthcare institution, as a benefit, should be paying a good amount of your premiums for your medical insurance coverage. If they are not that is not a benefit to you, look for another employer. You are worth it.
  4. by   llg
    Even if you don't have a serious medical condition now, you might develop one later. If you are getting your insurance privately, your insurance company can raise your rates dramatically and/or even drop you as a customer completely. If you are part of your employer's group plan, they can't do that. They have to keep providing you with that insurance at the same group rate even though you develop an expensive medical condition.

    That group medical insurance coverage is a benefit most people don't fully appreciate until it's too late. People think "it's not worth it" until they get dropped from their old insurance company just when they need it the most -- or get their rates doubled when they can least afford it.

  5. by   NurseCard
    Get coverage through your employer. With the price of health coverage these days it will be definately worth it to you. I frankly find it hard to believe that if you try to buy your own insurance, that you won't be paying out the rear end and out quite a bit of money. And no, your employer won't pay you what they would have been paying for your insurance policy. Likely, the only benefit that you are going to see is that insurance premiums are not being taken out of your check. But the government will almost make up for that, believe me. Insurance premiums are taken out before taxes, usually. So after your insurance premium comes out of your check, THEN the government takes out their percentage of what is left, for taxes. If you aren't having insurance premiums taken out, then that is just more money for Uncle Sam to take an even bigger bite out of.

    Right now, because I just started a new job, I'm not having any insurance premiums taken out of my check because my insurance benefit won't go into effect for another month and a half. But I'll bet I'm not getting paid that much more than I will when my insurance starts coming out.
  6. by   NurseCard
    I just wanted to add a couple of things after re-reading your post:

    Are you still PRN only? Because if that is the case, your employer isn't going to provide you any insurance anyway.

    Are you working full time hours for an agency? Because if that is the case, I've noticed that agencies make their employees pay a **RIDICULOUS** amount of money for decent insurance. And of course, you have to work so many hours a month for that agency. In my opinion, unless you work crazy hours, the money that that agency charges for insurance practically cancels out all of the extra money you make. In a case like that you ARE probably just as well off whether you use their insurance, or get your own. Though again, remember that group insurance has the advantage in that, the insurance company can't cancel you or raise your premiums.

    BUT, if you are working full time for a hospital or LTC or whatever, then usually chances are that you are better off financially, just taking their plan.
  7. by   Otessa
    For health insurance it is MUCH cheaper to get it for my entire family through the hospital.
  8. by   weirdRN
    There is a lot that I need to learn about health insurance!

    I knew I was getting a group rate through the nursing home where I am now employed full-time. I did not realize that the rates could and DO! fluctuate with use. I naively thought that you just got one rate and that was that.

    I had been listening to a radio program announcer who was against requiring employers to help pay for health insurance coverage. (Actually he was for the individual making all the decisions about how to manage their money. He stated it would be better if the employer paid the employee a flat wage with no benefits) He was for allowing the individual to consider if healthcare is where the employee wanted to spend their money. I was curious about how much my employer would be paying for *my* insurance. Thus telling me how much I am really worth to my employer.

    I am not sure that a single payor system would answer any of the problems that we will be facing in the next twenty to thirty years. I can only forsee healthcare becoming ever more expensive. Mostly because of the For-Profit only management mentality, but also because of the cost of Mal-practice insurance and the burden placed on health care institutions by those who either willfully do not carry heatlhcare insurance or are unable to afford it.
  9. by   land64shark
    My 2 cents.

    I have my family (husband, 3 kids and myself) covered privately with Blue Cross/Blue Shield. However, I have it through a group plan with the Farm Bureau. Mind you I live in the middle of a city with nary a farm in the whole county. It just cost me $35 (7 years ago) to join the Farm Bureau and then I could sign up for their group plan. I've looked around elsewhere, but I can't get near the price I have with them. I'm just a student right now, but I'm thinking I may opt out of the employer's health care in lieu of higher pay when the time comes.