Health insurance cost

I just got a job with a school district in Arizona. My (one choice in) medical insurance would be district-paid unless I got the top coverage, then it’s about $40 per month. If I add my son, the basic coverage jumps from free to $400/month. That’s right. Working as a teacher (so I assume group coverage and partially subsidised), I have to spend $5000/yr (1/11 of my gross salary. if i were a new teacher it would be about 1/7 of my gross salary) on insurance for my son.

Is this price competative with other work-offered group plans? Is this price for health insurance standard for Arizona teachers or do other districts have lower prices? What would my options be if I opt out and want my own coverage?

It’s going to vary widely by area, by job, by your health, and by a host of other factors.

From what I’ve been able to deduce from the insurance plans offered by the various jobs I’ve had over the years, $400/month for an insured plus a child sounds about right. It sucks, to be sure. 'Round here, employees of the State of Illinois pay around $40 per month to insure a whole family, IIRC. At my job, to insure yourself is about $180 per month; to insure yourself plus a child (or a whole family - it’s the same either way) is about $600 per month.

In general, off-the-shelf health insurance plans are going to be considerably more expensive than group plans offered by employers.

Hopefully, you won’t be teaching spelling. :wink:

Dunno about Arizona, but here in WI Mr. S worked for a school district as a custodian a few years back (my threads whining about it should be easy to find). His option for health insurance was either the same full-blown platinum state plan that the teachers got (which they paid out of their higher salaries at a lower percentage) or nothing.

At the end, shortly before he quit, he was paying something like $500/month for his portion of the health insurance (to cover self and spouse – no kids), and bringing home about $700/month. One of many reasons why it was time to quit.

So yeah, unfortunately that’s not crazy.

Luckily he now has a new job, also working for the state, with starting pay about $3/hour higher and health insurance (which starts for us next Tuesday, woo-hoo!) costing $68/month.

It might be worth shopping for a health plan on your own. Plans offered to employers tend to be more, often much more, expensive than a healthy individual can get on thier own…of course a NOT healthy individual can’t get anything on thier own.

You have to be kidding. We’re paying $640 a month, privately, for BC/BS, for a family of 7, and that includes dental. (That’s no maternity coverage, but additional accident coverage.) That’s insane that he was paying that much!

$400 seems absurdly cheap from what I was quoted in Nevada before I left the USA. FWIW I just renewed my plan from a UK company which provides coverage everywhere in the world except the USA. For my wife and I, with $10mil overall limit and $2K annual deductible, we pay $270/mo total.

Saint Cad: Remember that what you’re talking about is not the cost of the health insurance, but the amount that your employer requires you to pay. The $40 a month charge to you means that the school district is heavily subsidizing the cost of your health insurance. The additional cost for your son is so high because the school distrcit has decided NOT to subsidize the family coverage (or, at least, not to so great a degree.)

Health insurance (group rates) easily runs $5,000 to $8,000 for an individual (varies a lot by type of coverage, deductibles, etc.)

[political aside]Yeah, it sucks all the way around. However, any politicians who suggest that health insurance should be a government-sponsored service (like the police or fire departments) rather than an individually-purchased commodity (like furniture or food) gets shot down pretty quickly by the huge-money interests (like pharamceutical companies and the AMA.)[/aside}

Tell me about it. There was other stuff at play, though; one year the school board froze the amount the district would pay at the current dollar amount equal to 85%. So when insurance premiums went up, the district paid the same amount, and the low-paid support staff ate the entire difference. Of course pay increases didn’t cover the insurance increases, so take-home pay went down, down, down . . . And the district refused to consider offering a cheaper alternative plan.

This of course fueled talk of forming a union, but Mr. S has been gone from that job almost a year and the district is still stonewalling.

(Meanwhile the teachers continue to have their insurance paid at 93% every year . . .)

Teacher in Dallas. I pay a little more than that for myself and a little less than that when I add my spouse. I think they honestly assume that most teachers are women married to professionals who have their own insurance. It’s not true, of course, but I am convinced that is the expectation.