Published Jan 8, 2004
I'm graduating in May, and have been contacting several hospitals for my first nursing job.
Boy, did I get a reality check regarding benefits!
I had no idea that nurses were expected to share in the cost of their health insurance. Insurance that had poor coverage and huge deductibles! I know I'm a newbie, but surely I thought hospitals would provide excellent care for its CAREGIVERS! I was so wrong. And it doesn't stop there.
Dental insurance, non-existent, or fully paid for by the employee. :stone
Long term disability or short term disability, you guessed it, paid for by the employee. :stone
Last but, not least, what's this business of having employees PAY to park?
What are your benefits like? Any tips on negotiating better benefits at the time of hire?
All comments welcome, thanks!
purplemania, BSN, RN
I bet nurses in your area receive about the same benefits as employees in other industries. Few employees in this country receive dental/health insurance without paying a portion of the expense. So I think your expectations are a little high. However, not every facility has the same health plan so you need to consider the whole package. My health, dental, life, disability insurance comes to less than $50 per month for me alone. I have worked elsewhere and know this is pretty good. When you compare benefits, consider paid time off as well. You are right to give it all thought before making a committment.
I would also concider the expectations a bit high. I work for one of those major managed care companies-yes I work for the bad guy- and I have to pay 35 per paycheck for their own insurance!! You would think that since they are the owners they would give us low on the totem pole nurses a break! They also own the dental plan and I have to pay 4 per pay period for that. Total of all my deductions for benefits come to 98.00 per 4 wk. period- not per month. We have 3 pay periods this month so it comes out to more paid into the plans this month.
Shercat: The co you work for is charging its employees top buck for those benefits since you are a captive audience. That way they can sell the benefits to nonemployees for a much lower competitive cost, since their employees are making up the difference.
manna, BSN, RN
Insurance coverage is such an issue. I'm not a nurse (yet), but I work for a heavy equipment manufacturer. Our insurance premiums are going up 35% - yes you read that right, 35% this year!
I'll be paying $410+ a month for my family of three (my boys and I - husband and I are separating), which will go up another 15% in 6 mos time - and that does NOT include vision, dental or preventative visits!
I'd be dropping it if I hadn't just found out I had asthma and want to keep my prescription coverage! (plus the whole pre-existing thing).
Between my husband and I, we make too much to get our kids onto state insurance, but I'm hoping when we split up they won't take his income into consideration (since he was too lazy to get the forms filled out/turned in on time to get them covered through his company - the premiums are half of what mine are! )
My husband works for a large auto dealership. He was paying $410 per month for not-so-great coverage on our family. In August 2002, the dealership switched to a company with better coverage-sounds good, right? Well, the better coverage was going to cost $672 per month. OUCH! We had to drop it-he only makes $12 per hour and we still had to eat. The kids are on a state program now. Anyway, the first of the year, they switched again. Now, it will cost $350 for just DH and I-we are leaving the kids on the state thing. But, since we haven't had insurance for over a year, they aren't covering any pre-existing conditions for the next year.
The plan is for me to finish school and get a job with benefits, then he will open up his own body shop. But I am finding out that the hospitals around here have pretty crummy benefits too-the hospital closest to me offers only hospital insurance-no dr. or Rx, and you have to pay an arm and a leg for it.
I pay $28/month (~14/paycheck) for health insurance, dental coverage, life insurance and long term disability insurance. At my hospital, we get benefit dollars, and if we exceed the benefit dollars by our selections, then that is what we owe, in my case $14/paycheck. If you are under what the hospital pays, that excess goes back into your paycheck. And that only covers me. But if you have family coverage, you get more benefit dollars which helps tremendously.
I also work for an insurance co nad have to pay for a portion of my benefits esp. health/ dental. What really got me was a letter telling me they would drop my husband from the health insurance if he was employeed and his job offered insurance. My husband works for a company that is severlly underpaid for our area ( compared to other companies in 100 mile radius , no acroos board raise in site for infinity). His company does offer insurance but the policy is worse than mine. So he had to switch to his co. benefits after I faxed the denial letter to them. Here is the kicker the new insurance company my husband had to switch to is the same one I work for. When I notified my HR that it was the same co. I was told it was a different plan and would not create a con-flict of intrest. Go figure.
Nothing that has to do with insurance makes any sense. It is hard when those making health care decisions don't typically have any health care experience, usually business degree. I still dont' understand why CEO's of insurance companies are making so much flipping money and those on the "front line's" are making piddly in comparison.
We also make up the difference between what the hospital offers in "benefit dollars" and what the plan pays. It's not bad, but the prescription coverage could be much better. We do get pretty good benefits like 401K, stock options, day care benies and paid time off.
Tweety, BSN, RN
Like most industries, where I work we have to pay out the butt for our benefits. Although they offer very good benefits, healthcare, 401K's, diability, dental, vision, the whole gamut of bennies. The cost has gotten higher and higher over the last decade.
One would think with the nursing shortage and all they are paying to recruit, bonuses and whatnot lower cost bennies would be something they would consider.
We're not alone. A lot of insurance companies charge their employees for insurance. Go figure.
barefootlady, ADN, RN
Just read an article in paper about 2 weeks ago, stated average cost for family insurance would skyrocket to about $18,000.00 a year in next 2 years. Stated insurance coverage was one benefit that the average working person/family was going to have to reconsider taking advantage of if they wanted to actually draw a pay or be able to eat.
I agree with Tweety, looks like a good way to attract new nurses would be to give them a break on health insurance for first year and extend that break to all employee's who remain with facility. This will never happen but it is a nice dream.
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