Jobs question

A while back, you all were kinda telling me that I ought to get insurance via my employer (and I should shop for an employer with a good policy) and not pay out of pocket. I heard that as, “Get a job at the State. Diabetics must be employed by the State.” I raged against that for a while, but now I have follow up questions.

QUESTION #1. I take a state job, let my private policy lapse, adopt an employer sponsored plan, and then get fired or quit. I can go on COBRA for 18 months. At the end of 18 months, can I purchase the employer provided plan from COBRA? Will it become just another privately held plan? Or do I get kicked of the plan entirely and I have to shop ACA for a new plan?


Figure 1. Cobra

State jobs require a nightmarish resume re-write, but look what it says!


Figure 2. Diabetes Care

In general I think when the COBRA 18 months runs out the insurance drops you. COBRA plans can also be VERY expensive. I’d bet you can find a much more affordable plan with similar benefits with an ACA plan.

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Yeah, essentially you pay your portion+the employer portion (you don’twork there anymore)+administrative fee. Normally not a great option for most people.

Generally a Cobra policy will be so expensive that you would only use it as a bridge to another employer. In 15 years of doing personnel related things the longest I have known anyone to stay on COBRA was six months. That was as a bridge to medicare.

No matter at the end of 18 months if you are going to use it that long, the COBRA policy terminates.

My last job change left me uninsured for a month. Cobra wanted 1800 per month so I went a month uninsured
My private insurance with my company is pretty good. In California you can get the government sponsored insurance exchange for about 400 a month which isn’t too bad.
I was uninsurable for a few years before Obama care created the exchanges and I was on some really bad plan that was only allowed for 5 years and had strict caps.

Being diabetic is really a risk unles you get insurance through work or Medicare.

This is all really helpful information, Everybody.
What do diabetics pay on ACA?

I believe that I bought my current policy from COBRA…but that was 20 years ago and I’ve never changed, so I think I’m hiding in a little mouse hole where I pay $400/month and approximately a $1,500 deductible. Can an employer sponsored plan beat that? Can ACA?

I recently had someone want me to work for them as someone who is self employed on a 1099 (not W2) and I could have done it because I own this policy. But they were doing other fishy stuff with the money, so I didn’t end up working for them. I need to be re-educated on how all this stuff works.

Best bet is to go to healthcare.gov and you can price policies available in your area. The site will also give you a list of local brokers who can help you sort through all of the options. The brokers are paid through the ACA and don’t cost you anything.

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I’ll do that.

Be careful with the 1099 jobs. The IRS has a self employment tax that is pretty painful and is in addition to the normal state and federal income tax. When my daughter had a 1099 job the self employment tax was an extra 30%.

Yeah, the recruiter I call Batman said that guy was probably doing a few things that were unethical and that you always ask for at least 17% more in salary using 1099. The State appeared to not like that game. https://www.ag.state.mn.us/Brochures/pubMisclassification.pdf I opted to pass that opportunity on to someone else. They weren’t paying enough for me to hire a CPA and consult with an attorney about any resulting personal liability. He was a smooth talker though. He almost had me.

I’ve done some research.

Misclassifying workers on a 1099 (as opposed to W2) is considered financial fraud. But, there is very little or no enforcement capability from the State’s or the Federal government (unless you call the IRS).

You never want to sign a 1099 if your interviewing for a 9-5 office job. It results in you loosing all worker protections and rights because you suddenly become a business instead of a employee. You loose minimum wage protections and healthcare thru your employer. It can result in you assuming liability for what your employer does. You will pay their share of taxes, or the IRS can come after you. Worker misclassification is a pretty widespread practice due to a lack of government enforcement capabilities, but they are starting to fix loopholes at both State and Federal levels. It’s leading to a bunch of tax fraud and what they call “anticompetitive business practices,” because its putting law abiding business at disadvantage (30% higher employment costs).

MN doesn’t have great data, but they fear that as many as 20% of workers might be misclassified. They have janitors and hospital workers (and a LOT of construction workers) being classified as businesses instead of employees. But, I’m seeing it all over the place in software development and white collar work as well.

This is a sneaky thing that has significant impact for diabetics who are shopping for healthcare thru their employee.

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