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Benefit meeting questions

edited November 2010 in Stupid Questions
Our company is having meetings to give employees information regarding benefits for 2011.

One of the "new" items is to do with the employer contribution to the employee's HSA. If the employee completes two out of a possible 4 Wellness Activities the employee will receive the Employer contribution to the HSA on January 1, 2011. The activities have to be completed by December 17, 2010 and are very easy--attend the on site Benefits Fair, log on to our Wellness web site, and 2 other very simple activities. All of these could be done on company time as well!

The question asked in the meeting this morning was "It sounds like the company is asking me to do something (the Wellness Activities) to get something (the contribution to the HSA). Why is the company making me do this????"

By the way the contribution can be as much as $975 for family coverage.

I wanted to respond--well, I guess we will just start giving you your pay and you don't have to come to work any more, because that would be making you do something in order to get something!!!!! :roll:

By the way since I waive coverage here at my company, as I am covered by my spouse's insurance--I get NOTHING even though I am saving the company about $10000 a year in insurance premiums. Employees will also be able to receive an additional $50 per quarter if they complete one Wellness Activity per quarter. Again, since I don't take the medical insurance I get NOTHING!

The HR Manager says that since there are only about 20 people that waive coverage (200 employees total) we are a minority and most companies don't compensate employees that waive coverage--no deal on the $200 possible! Makes me really incented to do the Wellness Activities and I am on the Wellness Team and backup to the Benefits Manager!!!!

Thanks for listening. I do console myself with the knowledge that I pay a premium that is 1/3 the cost of the premium at my company. So there is a bright side to this one, too.


  • Maybe they could offer those 20 people reimbursement of health club fees or something similar. An employer I used to work for gave all ee's $100 per year reimbursement on approved wellness items like gym fees, buying a bicycle, yoga mats, free weights, etc.

    We would submit a proposal of what we wanted to buy and it was up to corporate HR to approve the item.
  • But the company does not care whether she is well or not - they do not have to pay her insurance premiums - And the hefty co-premium assures that she will not elect not to have the company coverage just to spite the company for not giving her an incentive not to be covered. Sounds to me as if she has an incentive to watch for an opportunity to go with a more appreciative employer - and - this is important - once the economy kicks in and employers need employees - employers who have treated employees badly will be replacing lots of people - and it will cost them more at that point than giving her $200 more now so she does not feel unappreciated.
  • .once the economy kicks in and employers need employees - employers who have treated employees badly will be replacing lots of people - and it will cost them more at that point than giving her $200 more now so she does not feel unappreciated.

    This has already happened at my company. People have been leaving like crazy. My last day is Friday. Our company has very limited benefits and has frozen wages for three years now. (except the $30,000 bonus for the CEO of course). At least in my area (Seattle) the economy has kicked in enough that there are a few jobs to be had.
  • I don't think its fair to say they don't care. In this economy its very possible that someones spouse could lose their job, and they would then need the coverage. You can also consider use of sick days - healthier employees use less of them. $100 to 20 people isn't a huge expense on their part. And if they're willing to give up to $975 to others, certainly they can afford a much smaller amount for goodwill/better health. It can't hurt to suggest it.

    My ex-employer offered it to all EE's regardless of whether they were covered by the health plan. They have also been on Forbes Best Companies to Work For list numerous times. Personally I didn't think they were all that great to work for (obviously) but I will admit their benefit plan made it hard for me to quit. Some older staffers would tell the newer ones to get out ASAP because once you were eligible for certain things it was like trying to walk away from your crack dealer.

    Otherwise I agree about the mass exodus that will take place at many employers due to how badly they've treated people these last few years.