One of the most common employee benefits offered these days is health insurance. Because private policies can be so expensive, and their network much more limited than a company plan, people hold their employer provided health insurance in high regard. Having good health insurance for oneself and one’s family makes a huge difference in stress levels and quality of life for employees and their family, especially their children. There are a few things that you should keep in mind when looking over the company policy.
This is not free health insurance. Employees have already paid for their health insurance through their labor; health insurance and other employee benefits are seen as part of a worker’s wages. Especially in a union setting, many unions will negotiate for better insurance, lower copays, more flexible spending, etc., instead of pushing for a raise to salaries. All health benefits are earned by the employee.
Additionally, the United States has a few federal standards for health care. Every employer with more than 100 workers has to provide at least 70% of the full-time employees with health covered by the end the 2015, with an eye to increasing this to 95% in 2016. Additionally, every eligible employee who joins the company has to be offered health insurance within 90 days of their start date. This strikes a balance between making sure than an employee is going to work for a company and enabling people who need and deserve health coverage to get it from their employer.
Taken together, health coverage is one of the most important and sought after employee benefits. It’s not a gift, but something that the worker’s earn through their labor and the prioritizing of their unions (where applicable). Good health insurance raises the quality of life for employees and their dependents, and is one of the most important investments a company can make.