Health Insurance premium... Too much?

Currently I pay $84 a month for my health insurance through my employer, for a decent UHC plan with a reasonable deductible. I’m a regular, full time, permanent employee in the electronics manufacturing field.

I am pursuing a new job, a 12 month contract position at a large multinational corporation with option for hire in the technical/engineering field. The pay is good, the commute isn’t bad, but it looks like the health plan, which is nearly identical and through UHC as well, will cost me more than $300 a month in premiums! (that isn’t peanuts, the salary for this position is $39-43k a year).

Is this terrible? Or average? I have no idea, because I’ve only needed to have my own insurance for a couple years now, and it’s been though my current employer. Whatever it is, it’s a lot, and may be a deal killer for the job.

Sounds like a lot to me.

I pay $236 a month for me, my husband and my son, for Aetna HMO.

Forgot to add, this is for a single, not family plan.

That sounds about right to me, if it covers anything at all beyond Big Bad stuff.

To put things in perspective, we pay about $250/month for me and Mr. Athena, but it doesn’t cover anything until we hit $1500 in a year. No doctor’s visits, no prescriptions, nothing. This is our first year of having this insurance; previous experience has showed me that it will go up 25-30% per year. In other words, in three or four years this will be doubled. Take that into account with your quotes, from what I can tell just about all non-corporate policies go up like that.

I suggest you look at the actual coverage and decide what you really need. If you’re relatively healthy, you can pay for routine visits out of pocket for less money that it would take to buy insurance to cover them.

I call shenanigns. When self-employed, I used to pay $144/mo in VA for a single female under age 35… included routine visits w/ $20 copay, prescriptions ($5-$20 copay), emergency ($200 ded), hospitalizations, and some basic dental (2x year routine cleanings, Xray)

That seems high to me.

I pay $70 a month for myself and both children and that covers most everything but deductables.

$25 for regular doctors
$35 for specialists
$100 for prescriptions, after that a $10 copay for most drugs

There are more deductables on lab work and such but I don’t have all that information in front of me.

I work for a healthcare company so mine may be cheaper since we are in the same field.

Mine will actually go down soon. I just removed my son today as he is nineteen and no longer covered. I think it I will be paying $45 a month for myself and my daughter.

I’m in health benefits administration.

The rule of thumb is - there is no typical cost. We work with large (mostly Fortune 500) clients. Over the years I’ve seen everything from free, to access-only plans (where you pay the entire premium, often $800-1100 a month).

I, personally, am paying… checks website about $171 a month for coverage for me and my spouse, after $6000 in credits are subtracted out. I have mid-range coverage, so I’d guess that it could go as high as $250 a month or so.

The client that I’m currently working on has people paying… checks requirements between $13 and $340 a month for employee-only coverage, depending on status and coverage chosen.

My last client… between $57 and $293 for a full-timer, $418 for a part-timer.

Basically, $300 is a little high but certainly not out of the ballpark.

I forgot to add - it is entirely possible that the cost is due to your status as a contractor. You may wish to try to find out if that’s the case, and if so, if you can negotiate paying the same amount as a regular employee into your contract.

I pay $60 a month, single, male, nonsmoker. My copays are like $20 for office visits and specialists, and $100 or $150 for the emergency room.

Vision and dental are paid for.

The 2006 Kaiser Health Care Survey shows the average premiums for single coverage (all plans) was $354. That was 2006. Insurance costs have increased faster than inflation every year for years now. If you are paying the whole premium, which is likely, it’s an average premium.

The 2007 survey shows the average premium for single coverage (all plans) as $373, FWIW.

Of course, if you are comparing the average *employee * (not contractor) contribution to health care premiums at large employers to your cost, it’s a different story.

For single PPO coverage at large firms, the average *annual * employee contribution for 2007 was only $792. (p. 71).

Just FYI. You are not getting insurance for $84/month now. Your employer is pitching in probably 3 times that amount, they just charge you a small portion of the total cost.
Finally, how old are you? That can affect the price of an individual plan too.

:dubious: While age may be a factor in what coverage you’re offered (for instance, Medicare eligibility), I’ve NEVER seen aged-based pricing for medical. I suspect that it might be illegal.

Of course, the premiums your company is being charged are based on the people being covered and past claims, so an older population would probably cost more. But that’s in the aggregate, not a particular person.

Poking around in our consulting databases (I made myself curious), I did find a couple of clients using a combination of age and years of service to price retiree plans. However, the advice was universally to try to move that client to a more standard model. And no active plans were listed as being priced by age band.

(For clarity’s sake, I’ll note that pricing by age for a life insurance plan of any sort is extremely common.)

Is this your contribution to an employee plan? I didn’t think gender or health status mattered on a group plan. You can’t mean this is you whole premium for a single subscriber??

I think mine comes out to about $100/month toward medical/dental/long-term disability. The company extends a credit based on salary and single/married/family status and the difference between that and the cost of the chosen set of benefits gets deducted monthly.

I agree that the employer can’t use age to set the amount of the employee contribution, but I’m pretty sure that when they sell policies to individuals age can be a factor. I just went to the Blue Cross Blue Shield site for NC, and the first question on their rate quote form is the applicants date of birth. This jibes with my experience several years ago of buying my own insurance, although that was years ago and I may misremember or things may have changed. Still, it seems like not considering age would make premiums way too high for any young people to buy insurance. Also, this seems like something that would be determined by state law, so it could vary.

To the OP’s point, a key question is whether your higher insurance cost is based on contractor status or not.

If it is based on contractor status, ask for more money. That is much easier for the employer to do than changing what they charge you for insurance. For legal reasons, they don’t want to go down any road that looks like “treating contractors like employees.” But as a contractor, you should set your price high enough to make it worth it for you.

If the higher insurance cost is what you would be paying if hired as an employee by the new company, think carefully. Again, make sure the increase in salary is enough to make it worth leaving your current position. Note that insurance contribution is almost always with pre-tax dollars.

Also, I’ve read a study (sorry, no idea where the cite is) that companies tend to offer good benefits across the board, or poor benefits across the board. So expecting a high employee contribution toward health insurance might be a signal that this company is less generous about things like vacation, sick time, disability, life insurance, and paid training. Consider these and factor them into your decision on a total compensation basis, not just salary.

This is exactly the case, apparently. Because I wouldn’t be a regular employee, the company will probably not be putting in much of anything at all, if anything.

The pay raise would more than make up for the $300/mo premiums, and the promotion in status (from engineering technician to engineer) is probably more important to me than the pay. I’ll see about negotiating a comfortable ratio of pay-to-health costs…

Thank you everyone!

I’m in my lower twenties, but, as it’s been said, I really, really doubt this comes into play in a group policy.

At my work, the company picks up 100% of an employee’s coverage, and 50% of any dependent coverage.

I think individual coverage is right at $370/month. Family is something like $900.

This is for a PPO through MMOH. Nice medical coverage. Not so hot prescriptions.