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Old 05-03-2014, 11:04 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,220,362 times
Reputation: 22380

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
anifani821, thanks for the memories, I think. I had almost totally forgotten that when my second son was about 14 months old he started to go into kidney failure due to a birth defect no one had picked-up on until his mother and I noticed his output wasn't keeping pace with his intake. I was an Army Captain at the time living some 60 miles from the nearest military facility with a full hospital so we were dependent upon CHAMPUS (now Tricare) for our medical benefits. With emergency surgery and all and our share being 20% of the total on not all that much pay in 1973, it took about two years to finally get the pink slip (title) on the little rug rat.
Yes, for most of us, the American Dream comes with a price tag . . . and lots of hard work!!!!

Back in 1973, a 2000 sq. foot house with basement and fenced yard was selling in my part of the world for around $20-25K.

A VW was selling for around $3K.

Gas was what - 25 cents a gallon?

Yes, that $180 bill was, to me, nearly insurmountable. I paid $5/month.

Oh - and the last thing I was thinking about was retirement savings. I was stretching the budget just to eat regularly, lol.
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:35 AM
 
29,815 posts, read 34,907,142 times
Reputation: 11735
There is data to support that much of the lack of growth in middle class wages is because employer health costs have taken money from wage growth and directed it to health costs.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:15 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,220,362 times
Reputation: 22380
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
There is data to support that much of the lack of growth in middle class wages is because employer health costs have taken money from wage growth and directed it to health costs.
That is essentially what my research (for clients) has shown.

I have been asking for over 20 years . . . how the heck did employers get tied up in provision of healthcare insurance?

Of course, we all know how . . . it was a benefit to ENTICE folks to choose to work for a company.

It was a BENEFIT.

Then, after about 35 years, it became an expectation.

Individual insurance should be very reasonable but b/c the cost of the provision of healthcare has skyrocketed over the last 50 years, the cost to indeminify policy holders has skyrocketed, as well.

So . . . employers kept picking up more and more of the cost of healthcare policies. In part, this became a bargaining chip for Unions . . . and once that became commonplace . . . it filtered down to mainstream corporate America.

What a mess.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:23 PM
 
29,815 posts, read 34,907,142 times
Reputation: 11735
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
That is essentially what my research (for clients) has shown.

I have been asking for over 20 years . . . how the heck did employers get tied up in provision of healthcare insurance?

Of course, we all know how . . . it was a benefit to ENTICE folks to choose to work for a company.

It was a BENEFIT.

Then, after about 35 years, it became an expectation.

Individual insurance should be very reasonable but b/c the cost of the provision of healthcare has skyrocketed over the last 50 years, the cost to indeminify policy holders has skyrocketed, as well.

So . . . employers kept picking up more and more of the cost of healthcare policies. In part, this became a bargaining chip for Unions . . . and once that became commonplace . . . it filtered down to mainstream corporate America.

What a mess.
Recent article I read said the same thing. It was a perk for competition and for the most part in demand employees and industries. Much like 401's.
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:42 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,651 posts, read 17,632,423 times
Reputation: 27754
When the labor market was more favorable to employees, employees could "shop around" different offers between companies. One way for a company to stand out without providing more direct salary was a more generous health plan.

Medical costs have risen far faster than general inflation, and much less than real wage growth. A simple visit to your GP may have cost 25%-50% less twenty years ago than it does today, chained to the same year's dollars. As medical costs have grown exponentially, so have the insurance costs borne by employers. Still, with corporate profits at or near record highs, increased insurance costs are not bankrupting companies. Even though insurance costs have risen, there is little reason to believe that this difference would have been returned to workers instead of to managers or shareholders.

The bottom line is that medical costs have only reached crisis levels in the past decade or so and any sort of UHC was pretty much relegated to the halls of liberal think-tanks. As corporations have dumped health plans on the grounds of cost, administrative complexity, availability of insurance through the exchanges, etc, it's more evident than ever that a growing segment of the population is extremely vulnerable to medical costs.

As a contract employee last year making $23k with no insurance, an office visit and medicine for bronchitis, pneumonia, and asthma, cost me $700 out of pocket. With the same illness last month on a $55k salary and insurance, and with two office visits this time, I was out between $40-$50 out of pocket. Employers, especially in economically hard hit states, have dumped the costs on the worker because they have such firm control of the labor market.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,956 posts, read 7,402,814 times
Reputation: 16299
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
There is data to support that much of the lack of growth in middle class wages is because employer health costs have taken money from wage growth and directed it to health costs.
I agree with this - I many cases the employee is actually paying for or partially paying for their health ins.
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Old 05-04-2014, 04:14 PM
 
29,815 posts, read 34,907,142 times
Reputation: 11735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbria View Post
I agree with this - I many cases the employee is actually paying for or partially paying for their health ins.
We have developed a mindset that the source of so much we need is government or employers. Medical and retirement are primary examples.
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