Don't be in a two income family?

So, I’m roommates with a young married couple who I’ll call Relena and Heero because I couldn’t think of anything else. Relena works at a small company doing copy editing. Heero works at a large company doing IT work that includes development, etc. (We all live in the U.S.)

It’s the dreaded time of year where Heero gets to pick next year’s insurance policy and hope they didn’t up the cost too much or cut out too many benefits they’re using. Nothing new about that.

What is new is that this year they required Relena, who is on Heero’s insurance, to get a signed piece of paper from her employer saying that her employer doesn’t offer her health insurance. If she couldn’t produce such a paper, they’d kick Relena off Heero’s insurance. Every married couple I’ve ever met where both partners work has one employer who has extremely shitty and extremely expensive health insurance and another one which is slightly more tolerable.

If Relena’s employer did give her insurance, that insurance would take up most of every pay check. Making it pointless for her to work in the first place. Which is going to be the case for a lot of people potentially in that situation.

Not only is this just generally shitty behavior, it’s going to have a terrible effect on the economy if it becomes a trend.

The company in question isn’t particularly innovative when it comes to being jerks to their employees so I’m curious … have any of you gotten a similar surprise this year with your benefits sign up?

My employer hasn’t gone this far… but there’s a clear trend toward at least charging more for the spouses, with the intent of encouraging them to ask their own employer to pay for coverage that they’ve already budgeted for and promised their employees. Otherwise, the company with the better plan winds up bleeding money into the coffers of the other company, which is also hard to defend.

Americans don’t have a health system. We have a health insurance system. It’s not optimized for societal benefit, it’s optimized for profit and to be used as a fringe benefit to help hire/retain employees. Unfortunately the Republicans went apeshit when it was proposed that we fix this. Of course now they’re going apeshit over the weak points of the approach THEY demanded; draw whatever conclusions seem appropriate.


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