Yes, that would be my concern as well. As many people noted in the thread already, you cannot legally be denied due to preexisting conditions in the USA.
My work has health screenings, where they bring in a third-party nurse who takes your BP, checks glucose to catch people with undiagnosed diabetes, weighs you, etc, but all that information is strictly confidential (by law, covered by HIPAA) and it’s optional. It’s just them trying to keep us healthy.
In my company’s larger cities, they do this as well. But only for those who want health insurance. And this is in addition to that other screening sheet I mentioned. Also, they told us it was voluntary, but if you chose not to do it, they would add $100 per month to your insurance premium.
However, because there are so few of us here in Bismarck, we had to go to our general practitioner and have a complete physical, and then have our doctor fill out a paper that wanted information such as BMI, height, weight, blood pressure, glucose, diabetes yes/no, and a bunch of other stuff. But not to worry, they told us, since you have health insurance, it covers one free physical per year.
So I did that. It cost just over $1,000. My insurance did cover everything but $66, which I think was because I had them do some overdue vaccinations as long as I was there anyway.
I have a client that works there and yes, they seem like a great place to work. Plus they have a Roth 401k option that you can blend in with your traditional 401k contributions. I’m a big fan of the Roth 401k and wish more companies would implement it. Higher contribution limit and no participation ceiling. Having a portion of retirement income held in a tax free bucket is a great way to manage your tax burden in retirement.
Everywhere I’ve worked has generally not allowed people to carry over vacation from year to year, but might make exceptions. My current workplace makes those exceptions very rare. On the other hand, we get way, way more than 10 hours a month. That’s insane. 5 days a year?
I’ve been a software developer in DC for over 30 years and the company I’m at is the first one where you aren’t allowed to carry over vacation time, so it was a shocker to me (and I’ve worked at maybe 10 or so companies over my career). The amount you can carry over is limited, sure, but the limit was always on the order of 240 hours or something I would never hit.
Also, when I was working at SAIC, twice a year they’d offer to buy back any leave you wanted to sell back to them, so you could cash in any vacation time you weren’t going to use.
Our company was purchased late last year, and the one who bought us allows people to carry over leave. Unfortunately, the purchased company (now a division) is not switching over to our parent company’s policy with respect to leave until 2020, so one more year of not carrying over for me.
Having worked in the health and health insurance industries for the past few decades, I can say with confidence that what LockerK says above is how it works in most companies today. Repeated reminders are sent out about the open enrollment period and you can’t just sit back and do nothing. You have to respond affirmatively, even that response is only a few mouse clicks indicating that you want to continue the same coverage. If this is your case, LockerK is exactly right, start the email trail going immediately and get it corrected. It may cost you a penalty.
While we’re at it, this seems like a good place to clear up a few misconceptions:
Obamacare (the ACA) does not have much application to employer-offered (group) health insurance. It mainly addresses the individual market, where health insurance is purchased by the individual (and family) directly from the insurer or through the Exchange;
If you’re obtaining your insurance through a large employer, the employer is most likely self-insured and the insurance company is the third party administrator (TPA). Obamacare and state insurance laws do not govern those plans. State insurance laws may have some effect through control of the stop-loss insurance that most self-insured employers purchase. However, self-insured employer plans are governed by the federal ERISA law;
Regardless of how the employer-provided insurance is arranged, pre-existing conditions may NOT be used to deny coverage. However, if you miss the open enrollment period or one of the exceptions to it, e.g. a new hire, the pre-existing condition MAY be excluded from coverage. There are some complicated rules surrounding this and, if it applies to you, it needs to be explored carefully with your HR dept. and the insurance company;
Tobacco use may not be used to deny coverage, but it may be used to raise the amount you have to contribute toward your coverage.
Matt I’m really glad to see some of the tips you’ve posted here. I have been using several of them pushed by the company and got the spiel (and training even!) But seeing confirmation is also a good thing. Thanks for these tips, man.
OK, going way off the top I guess, but I don’t mean accumulating 10 hours per month, I think I get close to 8 hours per pay period, give or take. I’m just saying that accumulation can carry forward to the next calendar year for me, but only up to a certain point. The excess is just lost.
Anyway, I’m unclear on how this works if you can’t carry forward any PTO time from one calendar year to the next. Are people unable to take time off in January, or are you allowed to go into PTO debt until you accumulate enough to cover it?
At least where I work (and it was the same at my last job), it’s not a question of accruing time (unless you’ve just joined the company). At the start of the year you get the full allocation for the year.
After reading all these stories – and Giles, so glad that got cleared up – I’m surprised more companies aren’t doing what mine did.
They eventually hired a “VP of People,” which is I admit an odd title, but her goal is to make my company a place not just to attract new talent, but to retain existing talent.
One of their biggest implementations was unlimited PTO. It’s amazing. No more sick days or vacation days or jury duty days or anything to keep track of. Just unlimited PTO. The management folks are encouraged to encourage US to take breaks and such because people are afraid to use PTO.
They also do 401k matching and have great benefits.
I’d be very interested, although I’m sure getting this data would be impossible for you, in PTO taken before and after this policy change. Everything I have heard and read on this topic suggests “unlimited PTO” is a kind of trap, because it is of course in practice limited, and people end up taking less on average than they did or would have, thanks to the new ambiguity. That your managers encourage people to take more time off suggests that might not be true in your workplace, but I’d love to see actual before and after data.