This question is from the United States.
Summary: I am looking for a job with better health insurance. I want to negotiate higher salary instead of offered plan and be self-insured, is it reasonable?
I am currently looking for a new job for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons is to find better health insurance. The insurance with my current employer is pretty bad. Issues include:
- Most claims are denied by default. Either there are a lot of phone calls to get basic care covered or the claim is not covered at all. For example, they denied coverage for the COVID booster shot. In the meantime, I had a coworker who died during the pandemic. This is not a good combination. Other coworkers are having critical treatments denied, and I worry about them.
- When the insurance company does cover, the proportion is minimal. I have had to pay 70% of the costs out of pocket for some claims. Combine this with the cost for premiums, it is almost like I have no health insurance.
- The runaround is so bad, that employees typically don’t even go to the doctor, to avoid dealing with the insurance.
So, I have been looking for a new job. For some employers, I get pretty far along in the interview process. It seems like good work and good coworkers. Then HR gives me a copy of their benefits, and I find out it is the same insurance or not much better. So, I cancel the interview process, because I know that I would not accept any potential offer because of the insurance.
I have had this happen a couple of times. I do not know if this is the state of health insurance right now in the U.S., so I was trying to consider another option.
Would it be reasonable if I get to the point of the job offer, then refuse the company’s health insurance, and ask them to give me a higher salary instead, so that I can pay for insurance out-of-pocket, choosing my own plan from the market? I am single with no children, and that is not going to change. I have decent health, no major issues. I have looked at the market, and a plan that I am interested in is $600 per month, $7200 annually. Note that I am looking for decent insurance, not perfect. Basically, I would refuse the company insurance and ask for $7200 more per year in salary. Do you think companies would balk at this idea or is this a reasonable negotiation point for a job offer?
Please let me know your thoughts.
Please avoid any political rhetoric in responses. I am looking for practical suggestions for my current situation. Any feedback along those lines would be much appreciated.