May 19, 2008

I Dunno, Megan.

Over the past five years I've run the gamut from excellent entertainment-industry health insurance . . . to no insurance . . . to amazingly sucky, exorbitant coverage that costs us thousands more a year than it "really" costs, because we have to continue A the H's production company in order to qualify for it, when we'd really like to let that go and slash our overhead.

And most of my friends are freelancers; I suspect they, like me, would be thrilled to get something decent for a semi-reasonable cost that wouldn't be pulled out from under them every time they changed jobs or careers.

I realize that a lot of people "expect" employers to pay for health care, but (1) a that number will decrease as people no longer "expect" that they'll necessarily be working staff jobs, and (2) a lot of people, given the choice by their companies, would prefer to take the cash versus the benefits. Or some of the cash, versus the benefits. Or having the flexibility to work anywhere they want to, rather than being "married" to one company or another due to some "pre-existing condition."

I remember sitting in my publisher's office in 1990 when I was living on $16,000 a year in West Los Angeles, with a commute to Burbank and a diet that consisted largely of macaroni and cheese.

This publisher was trying to convince me that, at the age of 28, I should purchase health insurance through the company. The problem was that it would have cost me a lot of money that I simply didn't have.

But of course my publisher thought I should be covered. He didn't want this enough to pay his staffers salaries we could actually live on, but he wanted it. Sort of. At least, he wanted to lecture me endlessly on the point while I was scrambling to make his deadlines.

At some point I just told him that I'd gotten insurance through one of my parents. He knew I was lying, but what could he do?

Save me the paternalism. Just give me the cash.


Posted by Attila Girl at May 19, 2008 07:45 PM | TrackBack
Comments

In Malaysia, most large companies (GLCs, MNCs, financial institutions) do full medical coverage (panel doctors and preferred private hospitals).

My company, otoh, is the veritable suckage. 30 bucks per paycheck, upon presentation of medical bill. Anything else, you're on your own. And it's not as if our pay is anything to shout about.

So. There's something to be said about workplace medical coverage. Although this is a market-regulated thing here.

Posted by: Gregory at May 20, 2008 02:37 AM




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