Annals of health insurance insanity

2004/12/16 at 07:33

One of my coworkers has decided to leave the company. His last day will be this week. Since his last day at our company would be just a few days before Christmas, I asked him if he would be able to take the holidays off and start his new job in January. Aside from needing the paycheck to support his family, he said, he needed to start his new job in December so that he would not have a month without health insurance.
In our industry, it’s common practice for companies to continue a quitting employee’s benefits through the end of the month and to start a new employee’s health insurance benefits on the first of the month after the employee’s start date. My coworker is using this system as designed to ensure he has continued health insurance through his transition.
After talking to my coworker about this, I realized that this same consideration has played a major role in two job changes for me as well. So much for ‘fringe’ benefits (I notice that in recent years, the ‘fringe’ has been dropped). If you think about it, it’s a somewhat crazy system.
Of course, I try not to take for granted that I work in an industry where good health insurance that starts soon after employment is a pretty standard benefit.