What to do when you don't want all the insurance offered?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Nab, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. Nab

    Nab Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    25

    Jun 26, 2016

    I have not been officially hired, and I won't be until mid-August. But, a school board has offered me a position. I got fingerprinted and was given a packet of information to fill out. The woman literally handed me the packet and said I could leave. I thought the packet was information and a payroll stuff. Turns out most of the packet was insurance information and forms.

    It seems the school board that I will possibly be working for has already picked out the health, life, disability, vision, and dental insurance I should have. While that might not be a made thing. . . I would have liked a choice. For example, the vision insurance doesn't cover the eye exam and only covers frames bought at Wal-Mart. As a full time glasses wearer, I'd prefer to just pay for it out of pocket. Another thing - the worker comp insurance will only pay for benefits after I have been out of work for 135 days. o_O

    Reading the forms, it appears that the school board has already decided everything and that it will simply be taken out of my checks. But, I really don't want half of what they are offering. I called to speak with someone, but the woman who handles the insurance is out until August 1st.

    I believe that I would roughly take home $2,450 a month, after taxes. So, I took that and subtracted my rent, food, other bills and all the insurance the school board already has me signed up for. After I would pay everything - I would have roughly $500 a month for gas and other wants/needs. All the insurances literally come out to $945 for the health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, three life insurances, accident insurance, work benefits, disability insurance , etc. There are literally eleven different insurances that I would be putting money into. But, I really only want and need three of these insurances.

    I'm sorry to be long-winded, but I have to ask: what does a new teacher do when they don't want things their school board is offering. I asked my parents and they are honestly completely confused by half the forms.
     
  2.  
  3. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    987
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jun 26, 2016

    You should have some kind of waiver forms to decline coverage. Ours is optional. The Affordable Care Act probably changed medical but the others should a be optional.
     
  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,060
    Likes Received:
    538

    Jun 26, 2016

    Talk to someone at your division/district's office.

    We can only opt out of the health care coverage if we have a spouse with a health insurance plan. Otherwise it is mandatory and we cannot alter the coverage.

    The other insurances have waivers we can sign.
     
    otterpop and yellowdaisies like this.
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,948
    Likes Received:
    2,096

    Jun 26, 2016

    Agreed. Check with HR. you may be able to opt out of some of, but maybe not all, the offerings. In NJ married public employees can opt out of ONE member's insurance but not both. DH and I (he's not a public employee) both carried insurance when our kids were younger. Now he's exclusively on mine.
     
  6. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2015
    Messages:
    620
    Likes Received:
    255

    Jun 26, 2016

    I agree with the above posts although I'm not sure with my job I can opt out of anything (I believe it's all or nothing). My dental and vision are board paid and I only have to pay for health, which is actually a lot and comes out to be about 300/month. So it would be silly to try and opt out of vision or dental since I don't pay for it anyways.
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    743

    Jun 26, 2016

    I would wait to panic until August 1st when you can talk to the insurance lady. You may not get to opt out of the medical unless you have coverage elsewhere, but I would bet you can probably opt out of the other insurance offerings. The paperwork is probably just listing what you can pick. I doubt anyone purchases or even expects you to purchase from all three of the life insurance companies.

    Every district I've worked for just offers one company's vision and dental insurance. I have had choices for disability and life insurance, but even then, I only had a choice between two companies. School districts picking insurance companies is probably going to be the norm. It might be a shock if your former employers offered choices, but in teaching, you usually don't get to pick your health insurance company. I certainly wouldn't have picked my heathcare provider and prescription provider. I hate Caremark with a passion.
     
  8. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    232

    Jun 26, 2016

    I'm guessing this varies widely by state. We don't get a choice for dental or vision (though we can opt out of those), but we do get a choice between a few different health plans and providers. I think there were maybe 3 different providers and a couple plans for each. We aren't forced to have anything else. We have a low level life insurance plan that's included in our benefits and we don't pay for. We are required to have health insurance. If we opt out, we must provide proof of being covered elsewhere.

    I can't believe you have to have ALL of that, and the cost seems incredibly high. I definitely would check with the district. There's a good chance it's not all required. I'm fairly certain health insurance will be required, though.
     
  9. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Jun 26, 2016

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  10. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    232

    Jun 26, 2016

    Seriously? Wow. I've always worked with lots of people who are on their husband's insurance. We also don't pay anything out of pocket each month for just us, though adding another person - spouse or kid - is so expensive it's almost laughable, in a tragic sort of way.
     
  11. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    1,226
    Likes Received:
    417

    Jun 26, 2016

    So what happened? She was forced to pick one?!
     
    otterpop likes this.
  12. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,812
    Likes Received:
    1,406

    Jun 26, 2016

    I was wondering too!
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,948
    Likes Received:
    2,096

    Jun 27, 2016

    The thing is insurance is negotiated for group benefits...it's cheaper that way than allowing opt outs. While I do have what my gov would consider 'a Cadillac health plan", it's definitely less expensive than private insurance. My DH's insurance was more expensive than mine and not nearly as inclusive.
     
  14. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    124

    Jun 27, 2016

    I really don't think they can force coverage on you IF you have other coverage.

    Here, the district insurance is just about the best insurance going and there's no cost but my husband is a police officer and that is pretty much the only better insurance so we are using his instead. They asked me a million times if I was SURE I wanted to opt out but once I explained that we are on the police insurance they understood and I get paid extra to not take the district's insurance (since it saves them a lot of money). I do have to have specific proof of coverage to be able to opt out though.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,948
    Likes Received:
    2,096

    Jun 27, 2016

    Some states/districts CAN require you take the insurance. Not sure about PA, but in NJ you opting out of yours would be allowed only because your DH is also a public employee. It wouldn't be allowed if the spouse was employed in the private sector and had insurance.
     
  16. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2015
    Messages:
    620
    Likes Received:
    255

    Jun 27, 2016

    I don't think that's necessarily true. A new teacher in my department opted out because he was still young enough to be on his dad's insurance (-26). He complained about how bad it was, but liked having the opt-out benefits and he rarely went to the doctor anyways. His dad works in the private sector.
     
  17. Nab

    Nab Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    25

    Jun 27, 2016

    The thing that confused me is this: there are several pages in the packet, but two stick out. One is the direct deposit page. Okay, I filled that out with no problem.

    The second page has "Direct Deposit and Insurance Take Out" written at the top. Under it is the same information for direct deposit and then a chart - that is already filled in with all the insurances. It has 'Type of Coverage' and then the name of each insurance, followed by 'Accept Insurance?' and then a place for me to fill in the amount I want to pay. (Single coverage,myself and a spouse, or myself, spouse, and dependents.) All the 'Accept Insurance' boxes are already filled in with 'Yes'.

    I just need the health insurance, the dental insurance. Everything else seems like a lot of stuff I don't need during my first year. But, I think - from reading it all again - that all 11 insurances are lumped together as, as they call it: "a competitive and appealing plan for new teachers to retirement" - and you have take them all or nothing. I will be contacting the school board to discuss it. But, it just seems really weird that they lumped all of it together. It's literally:

    1. Group Health Insurance
    2. Vision Insurance
    3. Dental Insurance
    4. On the Job Accident Insurance
    5. Critical Illness Insurance
    6. Aflac Hospital
    7. Aflac Cancer
    8. Life Insurance One
    9. Life Insurance Two
    10. Life Insurance Three
    11. FSA Diversified

    Plus, the state of Louisiana also requires that you put 8% of your yearly income into a teacher retirement plan. I feel like with all of this, I'd end up "insurance poor", before I've even gotten a chance to get started in life.
     
  18. MrTeach11

    MrTeach11 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jun 27, 2016

    Im in NJ and we can opt out of our insurance. In fact, if we opt out of our health, we can get a substantial yearly opt out payment. That's true for single or married employees.
     
  19. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2015
    Messages:
    620
    Likes Received:
    255

    Jun 27, 2016

    I hear ya :(
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,948
    Likes Received:
    2,096

    Jun 27, 2016

    That doesn't apply in my area of the state. It seems it depends on the type of coverage. Lots of bureaucratic info here:
    http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/webinar-6-7-10.shtml
    Some waiver info if you scroll down to around questions 27, 28, and on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  21. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Jun 27, 2016

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  22. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    232

    Jun 27, 2016

    That seems totally ridiculous. Have you asked other teachers in your area if this is normal for your state? We definitely do not have to have a lot of the extra stuff, but they do give us the option. A couple times a year, representatives from AFLAC and a couple others will be on campus to meet with people to give them info. I've had to opt out of a couple things. I can't imagine being required to take all that....

    So you said this all adds up to over $900 a month out of pocket? I hope I was misunderstanding you...
     
  23. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2015
    Messages:
    620
    Likes Received:
    255

    Jun 28, 2016

    I feel like most of those extra aren't needed if the group insurance is good, which makes me question the type of group insurance offered...ill say that my district does not offer an array of plans like that and we have very good insurance. We have the basic three (group, dental, and vision) with disability workers' comp, and life being board paid (along with vision and dental).
    I wouldn't worry about it until August. I can't imagine all of those being required. Do you know of this is normal in most other districts in your state?
     
  24. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,429
    Likes Received:
    947

    Jun 28, 2016

    We don't get a choice in dental, vision, disability, life, accident, cancer, major illness, and all the other supplemental policies. We get a choice between two health plans. That's it. Coverage can vary by state and district, too. My DH and I work in two different districts. We have the same plans offered, but his varies in coverage. It's because his district is larger and can get better rates and coverage.

    We only have to take a health plan. (And we can waive that if we are covered by a spouse.).
     
  25. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,429
    Likes Received:
    2,338

    Jun 28, 2016

    Yep, that is the norm where I live, too. At least our health insurance is pretty good, but I wish we had better dental. I do avail myself of the federal health savings plan/account, which is pretax dollars, and it helps with the stuff the dental or vision doesn't pay.
     
  26. Rox

    Rox Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    19

    Jun 28, 2016

    Based on a basic google search, it appears Louisiana teachers do not pay into SSI. Instead, you pay into your state teachers' retirement fund. California is similar. I wouldn't worry about this.
     
  27. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2015
    Messages:
    620
    Likes Received:
    255

    Jun 28, 2016

    In NJ, we pay close to 7% (it will reach over that eventually), and pay into social security. And we're expected to contribute to a 403b (because pension won't be enough). Soooo much money is taken out.

    In IL where I used to work it was 9% but no social security. I don't think 8% is all that bad then.
     
  28. Nab

    Nab Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    25

    Jun 30, 2016

    I just wanted to give a bit of an update. I spoke with someone, who explained that while things are pre-filled out for us, it is a pick and chose system. I just have to make sure to white out anything I don't want.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. bella84,
  2. ExploringTeaching,
  3. Mrs. K.
Total: 559 (members: 7, guests: 534, robots: 18)
test