Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Fringe Benefits

My beloved and I have been looking at various options for purchasing private health insurance. As it turns out, the group policy available to ME at my new job is ok (not great by any means) and offered at a tolerable cost. However, it becomes exorbitant if I want to have my husband covered too. My employer subsidizes the cost for employee group coverage, but not for their family members. So we've been reading the fine print for various medicare supplement programs and prescription only policies to see what we can afford.

We got incredibly spoiled by the insurance that we had in Oregon. We paid NOTHING (one of the wonderful benefits of having my husband work for the state-they picked up the full tab!) and we received very generous coverage for medical, dental and vision. They even covered my husband's adult son with a disability who lived in a different state. Sadly,those days are long gone.

Now we will be balancing high premiums, higher deductibles, higher co-pays and reduced coverage which means basically we'll be crossing our fingers and hoping we don't get sick. It makes me far more sympathetic toward the MANY people in this country who have no insurance at all. Getting decent medical coverage is a major motivating factor why many people continue working beyond retirement age. Unfortunately, more and more employers are cutting corners on what sorts of coverage they can offer in these days when it seems everyone is being asked to do more with less.

I DID, however, find out about a different kind of fringe benefit at my new job that had never been explained to me when I was hired. There is a sweet little lady who makes homemade tamales that comes by every so often to sell her wares to the employees. I picked up a dozen (6 pork and 6 beef) from her today and just finished having them for supper. Delicious!

Would I trade that opportunity for better insurance if I could? Most certainly! But here's the thing. I can't. So I might as well make my peace with higher cost/lower coverage insurance because that is the shape of my new reality. In SO many ways this job is a million times better than my former position - so what's the point in complaining about the areas where it does not measure up?

I had a really good day at work today. I'm finally getting past the absolute deer-in-the-headlight stupor of my first weeks of being in a foreign environment. I AM getting the hang of it. I continue to be extremely impressed by the team I am surrounded by. Obviously I still have much to learn, but it feels like this job will be an excellent match.

I'm going to eat my tamales and be grateful.


Kim and Victoria said...

Glad to hear things are getting better at work. Too bad about the insurance. That's one thing we have at the co-op is great, great, insurance. Sadly so many people do not. My son spent time in the hospital this year; no insurance for that.
The tamales though....mmmmmmmmm!

Mimi said...

Yeah, if you ever want to get me spitting mad,ask me about the state of health insurance in this country, and the absolutely ridiculous way it is delivered.

Having said that, yummmmmmm! Enjoy the tamales!

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