Dear Evil HR Lady,
I just got a full-time job, and I’ve run into an issue. The only option for medical plans available are high-deductible plans, which cost about $80/month. The plans are 100% employee paid. In addition to the premium, I had to sign a paper stating that I would pay an extra $15 a month because I am a smoker. In lieu of paying $1,000/year for a benefit I will likely not use at all,(I don’t ever go to the doctor, so no insurance is no problem) I opted to make a larger contribution to my 401(K) and waived the health insurance. All of the papers I filled out had the option waive the insurance. Even the paperwork “check list” made by HR had the option to waive the coverage. When I turned it in today, I was told that it was against company policy to not take the benefit. This was never mentioned to me during my orientation and it doesn’t feel right. From what little I can find online, it appears that a company can make it mandatory to take the insurance offered.
Can you explain how companies can make you take their health insurance? Is my employer getting a kickback from the insurance company? Am I wrong in believing that the omission of this information from orientation is borderline shady? The strong push to take the position, the smoker’s premium, and being forced to pay a premium for a benefit I don’t want is starting to make me wonder what other bureaucratic nightmares are on the horizon. I don’t know a lot about communism, but when I think about communism, I think it’s something akin to this. I would rather work for peanuts than to be given the illusion of a choice.
Thank you in advance for any light you can shed on this issue!
To read the answer click here: Can my company force me to take health insurance?