Why should healthcare insurance be something that is the responsibility of the employer? Here are 4 reasons why it shouldn?t be:
Limited Options and Complicated Rules
When an employee is hired by a large firm, he/she is presented with a few healthcare insurance options offered by the employer. Usually, the new hire has no idea what each different option really means, even when explained to them by the human resources department. It?s complicated. The rules are mostly in fine print, and unless you follow the rules exactly as prescribed, you may find yourself paying for things you thought were covered. And it’s not like there are tons of choices, either. It?s like going to a Ben and Jerry?s ice cream shop and having to choose between vanilla, rocky road, and chunky monkey, with no other flavors available.
Virtually Unaffordable by Small and Micro Businesses
In most cases, small and micro firms can?t even afford health insurance. If you think I?m wrong here, try getting coverage for a group of 15 people, ? of whom choose to be on their spouses’ plans, several of whom have chronic issues that are treatable with prescription drugs, some with high cholesterol (me included), some in their late 40s (that?s me again) and everyone spread out over several states. It?s virtually impossible.
I remember getting a quote from the evil empire (Blue Cross Blue Shield) to cover my team back in 2009, and they actually expected me to pay about $1,000+ per month per employee for basic health coverage that wasn?t even as good as a personal policy. Think about it. For a group of 10 people, that?s about $120,000 a year just for health insurance. ?No f***ing way. Unless I want to dig my company a grave?
Employees Aren?t Free to Move Around as Much
When you work for a large firm with a good health insurance program and you get sick and are admitted to the hospital, now you have what the evil empire calls a ?pre-existing condition?. If you decide to quit or want to leave your current employer, you will have to deal with your newly acquired ?pre-existing condition?. So now you have a HUGE incentive to stay put. What if you hate your job? ?Doesn?t matter. You?re stuck (unless you jump ship to another large firm with a good health insurance plan). What if you want to instead break out on your own and pursue that iconic thing called ?the American Dream?? Good luck finding affordable health insurance.
It?s Not a Level Playing Field
If it’s really true that small businesses are the engine of the US economy and the ones that drive innovation, then health insurance should not be something that differentiates one firm from another. Level the playing field for all small and micro businesses by removing this differentiator. There?s absolutely no chance for a small entity to compete for talent with a large entity when the large entity can acquire health insurance at a fraction of the cost a small entity can. Economies of scale matter to insurance agencies, and it’s something that small business just don?t have.
In the case of my own firm, we?ve basically given up on this health insurance stuff. It?s too complicated and expensive, and it?s a distraction from our core work. What we do is simply give our employees an extra amount of money each month ? through normal payroll channels ? to cover their personal health insurance policy. ?It?s the only thing that really works for a company of our size. It?s not the ideal solution, but it’s something. And honestly, we as employers shouldn?t even have to worry about this stuff. It should be something that simply is taken care of outside of employers, for the reasons I cited above, and because we are supposed to be a civilized society that takes care of its own people instead of kicking them when they are down.