How do we avoid screwing over a coworker's health insurance?
February 27, 2013 8:49 PM Subscribe
My husband got a new job and it looks like his health insurance will be better and cheaper for us than what we have through my employer. Problem is, my office is tiny and if we drop off our insurance, only one person in the office will remain on the group plan and a group of one is not eligible for a group plan. If we drop off the plan, I want to ensure she doesn't get screwed over. Can you help me figure out what questions she and I need to ask the owners and our insurance broker and/or come up with creative solutions to pose to the owners of the company? (I realize that this is really the coworker's issue but we're a very tight-knit office and my coworker wants this help.)
posted by adorap0621 to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
- The owners of the company will (almost certainly) have no issues taking what they contribute for my insurance coverage and applying it to the coworker's increased monthly costs (she pays nothing out of pocket). That'd give her up to $1000/mo for a policy.
- Owners aren't around on a day to day basis; they stop in maybe once a month, at most. Company is hurting and if this year is like last year they may shut us down. I haven't had a raise in the years I've worked there, no bonuses, lots of budget cuts. We're working hard to stay in business, though!
- The owners of the company haven't been on the insurance they offer for 10+ years (never in one case) and the other 2 eligible employees both dropped off the insurance in the last 3 years for their spouse's better plans. I'm not going to be guilted into staying on the insurance just because I'm the last one eligible.
- Husband and I care about this coworker. We all met when selecting insurance for this year to discuss her needs. She had some expensive tests that had to be done so she asked if we'd be willing to go to a higher cost (to us), lower deductible plan. We readily agreed. It's possible that in the last two months she's already hit her deductible. I'm certain that if she had to fulfill a deductible again this year, she'd be screwed.
- Husband and I are ready to start a family and this is the last month I'll be on the Pill. Saving money is important to us.
I'm nearly sure the owners will take what they contribute for my insurance and apply it to coworker's newer, likely more expensive plan but what about what she's already paid toward her deductible? Does that ever transfer or to new plans if she has to change for reasons beyond her control? I don't imagine so. What can we propose to the owners to help make up for what she's contributed towards the deductible already? Can you think of anything other than asking the owners to pay possibly thousands of dollars to the coworker to make up for what she's already contributed towards the deductible? This will be a HUGE deal for my coworker.
Alternatively, would it be legally possible to keep me on the insurance AND go on husband's better insurance (as my primary insurer - I wouldn't ever make a claim against the one I share with the coworker) and then ask the owners to reimburse me what I pay out of pocket to make up for what I could have saved if we dropped it (that'd be less than our deductible)? If so, do we draft a contract or something that I sign saying we're keeping the insurance so coworker remains eligible and I promise not to use it?
Any other ideas? Can you think of better ways to frame these questions to our insurance broker? When I called to talk to her today, she was of no help.
I desperately want my coworker to not suffer financially for the good fortune of my family. If it matters, this is in Montana, USA.