pinch me I'm dreaming -- health care in the public sector

 

My wife got a full time job with the school district.

There was some miscommunication, but net net is she can pick up the family's medical effective 1/1/23.

First of all, her cost is about 28-30% of mine. So I'll be getting a nice bump in net pay.

There are only 2 choices--a HMO and a PPO, with the HMO being more expensive, by $5/check.

The deductible is $0 on both plans.

I always rave about the health care that she got us at "the banks" from 2008-2013, but here it is 2022, and the school's health plan is cheaper and better than those?

My serious question--how are public entities able to provide such health care, but corporations cannot. Seriously, what is the reason?

My PPO currently has a $30 copay. The new plan will be $20, but imagine a $0 deductible? wth??!

Taxes

It's our school taxes, not corporate profits, that pay for teacher health benefits. In my state, the land owners pay the lion's share through property taxes.

IMO, the good health care teachers sometimes get is partial payment for a difficult job with a pay scale slightly lower than average around here anyway.

Before I retired, the teacher wife of a coworker was able to put him on her excellent health plan for a lot less money. He dropped his company plan but was unable to get it back when he retired. His company retirement benefits would have been better & cheaper than his wife's health plan through the board of education.

These deals are out there and by all means, take advantage of them but be aware, they change frequently. It pays to read the fine print and think about future ramifications before switching plans.

This happened quite a few years ago so this "pitfall" may not exist today. It's still worth a thought though.

thanks

bdhsfz6 wrote:

It's our school taxes, not corporate profits, that pay for teacher health benefits. In my state, the land owners pay the lion's share through property taxes.

IMO, the good health care teachers sometimes get is partial payment for a difficult job with a pay scale slightly lower than average around here anyway.

Before I retired, the teacher wife of a coworker was able to put him on her excellent health plan for a lot less money. He dropped his company plan but was unable to get it back when he retired. His company retirement benefits would have been better & cheaper than his wife's health plan through the board of education.

These deals are out there and by all means, take advantage of them but be aware, they change frequently. It pays to read the fine print and think about future ramifications before switching plans.

This happened quite a few years ago so this "pitfall" may not exist today. It's still worth a thought though.

Good to know. I can't help but feel we're hoodwinked left and right. When I see the school's plan, I think, this would be normal in 2010 or so. $0 deductible, $15 copay, simple choices, 2, 4 at most. No such thing as HSA or HRA which to me is like the 52 oz half gallon of orange juice.

They key as I see it? 88.25% contribution by employer. My last employer was 81% in 2010. I am ashamed to say what my current employer is. Put it this way, it's below 60%--that's why it costs so much, it's not the insurance co. There's the hoodwink.

My wife once worked for that co. that the Bogleheads admire--they made it a point during orientation for the employees to be aware the co. pays 90% of the healthcare cost. AND, they negotiated such a low rate? COBRA through them was less than regular was through my employer, now that's a joke.

Well, maybe not. My wife's aunt worked for a large Euro bank and retired with the rule of 75. She has corp. healthcare for life, i.e. employee rates. It's not free, but the next best thing.

Our local school district just passed a massive tax increase

A lot of this tax increase is going to go towards teachers pay and benefits. Bus drivers and custodial personnel have already been outsourced, so teachers and administrators will be the major recipients of pay increases from this levy. My question is why do you need two assistant superintendents, two assistant principals, etc? It’s like no one can do their job anymore so they have to have assistants to get the job done.

--
With God, all things are possible. ——State motto of the Great State of Ohio

I guess we keep'em alive instead of giving them money

As a generalization, teachers here can't afford to live where they teach. I guess we keep'em alive instead of giving them money.

On another sarcastic note I wish they took fewer classes in advanced blackboards and seating arrangements and more math and science.

# of assistants, principals depends on size

maddog67 wrote:

A lot of this tax increase is going to go towards teachers pay and benefits. Bus drivers and custodial personnel have already been outsourced, so teachers and administrators will be the major recipients of pay increases from this levy. My question is why do you need two assistant superintendents, two assistant principals, etc? It’s like no one can do their job anymore so they have to have assistants to get the job done.

My wife for instance was a principal of a middle school in one of the better districts in Pennsylvania. 700 students and she had one assistant principal. She was also an assistant superintendent in a district of 5000 students. In both cases she earned every penny she made.

--
John from PA

not in my town

minke wrote:

As a generalization, teachers here can't afford to live where they teach. I guess we keep'em alive instead of giving them money.

On another sarcastic note I wish they took fewer classes in advanced blackboards and seating arrangements and more math and science.

Teachers salaries depend on where they teach. Teachers in downstate NY make good money and have great healt benefits. When they retire they get great pensions and and reetain their health benefits.

My wife is a teacher in a

My wife is a teacher in a public school system. I am a Teamster. My plan is slightly better than hers, lower copays and smaller deductible. In the long run, for us, hers is better because her coverage is year-round. Mine is based on hours per calendar year. I get laid off a few months in the winter so there are times my coverage stops if I don't have enough hours in and I rely on hers.

--
. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

Worth Looking ahead…

My wife entered teaching (1968) at the elementary school level and was in a retirement program where she got 2-1/2% retirement for every year worked (based on highest 5). She decided to hang it up after 46 years service. She was complaining about a new contract and I reminded her that she could get a 15% raise by retiring (46 x 2.5 = 115). Along with that comes full health care benefits at minimal cost.

That is Pennsylvania, but perhaps looking to the future. When she started teaching, there were two retirement plan options. We picked the good one, and the other long term did not do well. Once into a program, it was near impossible to make a change. But that was before the days of IRA’s, etc.

--
John from PA

Make sure you read the fine print.

Some plans restrict Dr's. and some hospitals that you can use. Your doctor needs to be in the plan.

johnnatash4 wrote:

My wife got a full time job with the school district.

There was some miscommunication, but net net is she can pick up the family's medical effective 1/1/23.

First of all, her cost is about 28-30% of mine. So I'll be getting a nice bump in net pay.

There are only 2 choices--a HMO and a PPO, with the HMO being more expensive, by $5/check.

The deductible is $0 on both plans.

I always rave about the health care that she got us at "the banks" from 2008-2013, but here it is 2022, and the school's health plan is cheaper and better than those?

My serious question--how are public entities able to provide such health care, but corporations cannot. Seriously, what is the reason?

My PPO currently has a $30 copay. The new plan will be $20, but imagine a $0 deductible? wth??!

--
Nuvi 2460LMT.

We get that in Canada

johnnatash4 wrote:

My wife got a full time job with the school district.

There was some miscommunication, but net net is she can pick up the family's medical effective 1/1/23.

First of all, her cost is about 28-30% of mine. So I'll be getting a nice bump in net pay.

There are only 2 choices--a HMO and a PPO, with the HMO being more expensive, by $5/check.

The deductible is $0 on both plans.

I always rave about the health care that she got us at "the banks" from 2008-2013, but here it is 2022, and the school's health plan is cheaper and better than those?

My serious question--how are public entities able to provide such health care, but corporations cannot. Seriously, what is the reason?

My PPO currently has a $30 copay. The new plan will be $20, but imagine a $0 deductible? wth??!

We get most of that for free in Canada.

Essentially, we have a single insurer that pays for almost everything. Every province has their own insuring agent. In Ontario, it's the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). If I have a heart attack, cancer, or anything else, the doctor and hospital cover everything. The employers pay into the plan.

Costs are reduced because hospitals, doctors, clinics only have to deal with the one insurer. No charge for the lab tests, diagnostics, etc.

When I turned 65, most of my drugs were covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit, with a annual copay of $100 and $4.11 for each prescription after the $100 is paid.

I do need third party insurance for things like dental, physio, etc.

It's not perfect, but it works for us.

--
DriveSmart 65, NUVI2555LMT, (NUVI350 is Now Retired)

imho

John from PA wrote:

My wife entered teaching (1968) at the elementary school level and was in a retirement program where she got 2-1/2% retirement for every year worked (based on highest 5). She decided to hang it up after 46 years service. She was complaining about a new contract and I reminded her that she could get a 15% raise by retiring (46 x 2.5 = 115). Along with that comes full health care benefits at minimal cost.

That is Pennsylvania, but perhaps looking to the future. When she started teaching, there were two retirement plan options. We picked the good one, and the other long term did not do well. Once into a program, it was near impossible to make a change. But that was before the days of IRA’s, etc.

If a person loves their job, and they get great benefits, they're on top of the world. Meaning, not everyone needs or even aspires to making $500k like a lifeguard in LA County (I was very surprised at that, really).

My wife really wanted to get in full time with the school district and was working at some private schools--she likes pre K to 5th i.e. elementary, not too interested in middle or HS. But she recently was asked to sponsor a kid for confirmation. So for her to seem to be at a job she loves, me to shed the healthcare, and the car to only drive 1.5 miles each way lol, life seems to be good. I truly don't know what other benefits she would get, that's prolly either no longer in existence or it would take a long time, really not sure. They still do things by paper and I see the date on the form that's been photocopied over and over is 2007 haha

I think your wife did well and she probably can look back and smile at her employment and contribution to her community...

pleased

to say we pulled it off.

My wife has us enrolled for 1/1/23, and I have my current removed for 1/1/23.

Some musings through all of it, since I looked.

My current employer pays 52.2% of our health care--that's not good.

I found a spot on the website that showed I paid $142/check in 2010, when I joined the co. They also reimbursed me for 3 mos of Cobra before I could get the co. healthcare.

I'm a bit embarrassed to say, my deductions will be reduced by $814/mo. Unless I'm wrong, health care is pre-tax so I won't see $407/mo more take home per check. But it's still like getting an almost 5 figure raise.

imho part of the "myth" behind expensive healthcare, is what an employer is willing to pay as their share.

When my wife worked for the co. Jack Bogle founded it was 90%. So who cares how much it goes up? When the employee contribution is 1/10. Or when at the school district it's 11.25%?

Analogy--when my windshield broke, my deductible was $100. So I told the lizard co. what do you mean I need to use aftermarket glass? What does it matter to me if it's $215 or $700 for OE? I pay $100. The rep was trained to discourage policyholders from using OE glass which costs them more. But I legitimately was paying a premium. That's how I see it. I don't exist to increase your bottom line.

People who work for Euro cos. don't seem to complain nearly as much as we do, about the high cost. My employer has around 18k employees, so it's not a small business. They are self-funded. So 52.2% is a decision they've made, that likely keeps shareholders happy, and not employees. But argument can also be made the salary exceeds the median for same position in the industry. This is why health care though a spouse is key.

Why in the world would my wife's employer offer a $0 deductible? Hey, it was $100/$250/$500 as late as 2013 at many employers. Now I bet lots are $1000+.

My buddy has spent 5 years asserting that a HSA and high deductible makes total sense, EVEN WHEN MIDDLE-AGED, 3 KIDS AND WIFE, AND NEEDING SERVICES. Finally with my wife's new health plan I could rest my case--it may in his personal situation, but it totally has to do with what his employer has presented him with, and has steered him into. HSA/HRA are things that were invented to lower the expense to employers imho.