Terkling: 2017 health ins premiums

Recall, cuz Studs Terkels exploration of work in ‘Working’ made a big impression on me. So “Terkling” is the granular study of work economics say as felt by workers.

So I’m just putting this out there for posterity because there’s a piece of data to hang this on at this moment. I changed jobs in Nov. Was covered by old insurance in Nov. Rilly, rilly bugged the office staff at new vendor to have me enrolled for new health ins by Dec 1, but it did not happen for whatever reason (… even though they had kinda assured me it would…).

So I had no health coverage in force in Dec. Did have a COBRA plan that I could have gotten backdated enrollment should we have gotten sick, sicker than say $1500 worth of sick, b/c that’s what the premium would have been. We didn’t get sick so we didn’t enroll. I had to fill a prescription at one point and it was $85 rather than an $11 co-pay. That sucked.

New insurance on Jan one. Locally in my sector of technology staff augmentation these little vendors commonly like a BCBS-MN plan. It’s the normative thing. I had one before, that’s what I have again, just under a different employer. My employer ostensibly pays half of the employee’s premium. I understand it to be about a $175 fringe benefit per paycheck, this is also normative. The rest, the other half of that premium and the amount that covers the employee’s family, is a pre-tax paycheck deduction.

Drumroll… my new bi-weekly paycheck dental for health and dental is $739.64. Times 24 annual paychecks, that’s about $17751. Plus the 24 x $175 fringe benefit, you’re very close to $22,000 for the annual premium total.

Shitload of money. I don’t have expectations health insurance can or should be cheaper actually. It is what it is, health care is expensive. In Oct 2014 I had a weeklong ICU stay that billed out at $40k or something, and my out of pocket was say $3300. I felt like I was adequately protected there, I got my value for the premiums.

It’s getting to be tax time, and I am always struck by how much this big premium expense diminishes my income tax. I’m sole earner in family but my gross is over $100k and my earnestly done tax filings only give me say a $6k income tax. Surprised that doesn’t get discussed more, how healthcare premiums are diminishing income tax revenues.


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