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Thread: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

  1. #1
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    Default Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    My ex was just informed that her 29 year career as a flight attendant is done in April and health ins gone in June.
    This is some that has done everything right in that job. A folder full of awards and letters from medallion flyers. Rarely a sick day and a loyal employee for 29 years. Gone.
    No chance to transfer to other parts of the airline. An "early retirement" offer of a whole 4 weeks pay.
    Needless to say she is terrified.
    Anywhere she goes in the same line of work she starts at zero. Bottom of pay scale. No seniority.
    She has pre existing conditions.

    This is BULL$@"&


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    Tom

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    My condolences.

    I lost everything after 20 years of work. Bloop. Gone.

    House, retirement, all of it. Only because of ACA can I even GET coverage, and it sucks.

    Tell her to Hold Fast. It all works out in the end, which sounds trite as heck, but is real. We landed in paradise close to family who needed us, and both dumbed into dream jobs.

    Of course, after the terror of The Loss.

    Send my best wishes for calm and peace. It will work out, Friend.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    I am very sorry to hear that.

    Health insurance should be, at the very least, something we earn as payment to our service to society. More than that, it should be a basic human right. It should never be dependent on your employer.

    While we're at it, pensions are an obscenely poor idea who's time has also passed. You should have what you earn. It makes more sense to have a 401k that is yours from the start. You earn it every week you work and your employer can't touch it (or should not be able to). I'm with TIAA/CREF and what is there is my own. I can change jobs. I don't need to work a required number of years. I earned it.

    We have some faulty ideas in this country and we need to change.

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    She has some 401k money but at 50 is a long way from drawing from that. No idea how much it is but I'm sure it's not a lot. Meeting with her this week to help develop a plan for finances while she looks for a job.


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    Tom

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Julia didn't become Julia until she was 50.

    Maybe this is a chance for a new chapter, much better than the previous?

    I'm hopeful that it is.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wilkinson View Post
    My ex was just informed that her 29 year career as a flight attendant is done . . .
    Seems the idea is that during the career you're supposed to set aside a portion of your wages to invest in companies that exploit others as yours exploits you. The pay-off makes everybody less exploited, and free, as in free market. And then you don't need a pension or health insurance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wilkinson View Post
    My ex was just informed that her 29 year career as a flight attendant is done in April and health ins gone in June.
    This is some that has done everything right in that job. A folder full of awards and letters from medallion flyers. Rarely a sick day and a loyal employee for 29 years. Gone.
    No chance to transfer to other parts of the airline. An "early retirement" offer of a whole 4 weeks pay.
    Needless to say she is terrified.
    Anywhere she goes in the same line of work she starts at zero. Bottom of pay scale. No seniority.
    She has pre existing conditions.

    This is BULL$@"&


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    Which Airline? I thought flight attendants were in demand.

    Ken


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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Gentleman Sawyer View Post
    Which Airline? I thought flight attendants were in demand.

    Ken


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    Only bottom-rung ones who work cheap, with no benefits; not those who have diligently climbed to the top of the ladder and earned a decent wage and access to a worthwhile benefits package.

    Best wishes to T.W. & X.

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Gentleman Sawyer View Post
    Which Airline? I thought flight attendants were in demand.

    Ken


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    Express Jet. Their contract with Delta was terminated. They will still be flying for American and united but apparently are not allowing ex-delta contract people to move to the other sections of the company. She will try to get on with someone else but there goes all her seniority, decent pay, accrued vacation etc...

    Those are everything in a seniority based industry and that's why she has stayed with that company despite lower top pay scale. She has had maximum vacation time and been at the top of scale there for a long time. Makes it very difficult to change companies even when you have loads of experience. The whole industry is that way.

    I'm a 30 year mechanic with qualifications on nearly every aircraft we fly and if I were to go somewhere else it's back to square 1 for pay and vacation.
    Tom

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by sharpiefan View Post
    Only bottom-rung ones who work cheap, with no benefits; not those who have diligently climbed to the top of the ladder and earned a decent wage and access to a worthwhile benefits package.

    Best wishes to T.W. & X.
    Thank you. I'll try to help her navigate through it. She has no family and really nowhere to turn.. Our daughter just started college and son is a HS freshman. Her ability to bid good schedules due to her seniority was also a big factor in staying there after we divorced. Made it much easier to manage kids when neither of us has any family. At least my family is still alive to assists once in a while. Hers (parents) have been gone for 16 and 18 years.
    Tom

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    My condolences.

    I lost everything after 20 years of work. Bloop. Gone.

    House, retirement, all of it. Only because of ACA can I even GET coverage, and it sucks.

    Tell her to Hold Fast. It all works out in the end, which sounds trite as heck, but is real. We landed in paradise close to family who needed us, and both dumbed into dream jobs.

    Of course, after the terror of The Loss.

    Send my best wishes for calm and peace. It will work out, Friend.

    Peace,
    Robert
    And they are working hard to cut your ACA as well.

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulf View Post
    And they are working hard to cut your ACA as well.
    Frankly, it's useless to me.

    The deductible is so high as to make anything except the most routine care unavailable. If I had thousands of bucks to blow on health care, I wouldn't need insurance, eh? Then again, if I didn't pay hundreds of bucks a month to be insured I may have thousands to spend. But, never tens, or hundreds of thousands, so I pay my couple hundred bucks into the racketeering scheme each month and hope I don't need to try and use my insurance.

    Yea!

    Peace,
    In Chronic Pain, But Unable To Afford Proper Care. Yes, because I am lazy and don't have a job or anything.

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by paulf View Post
    And they are working hard to cut your ACA as well.
    Sorry to here those changes are coming for you. Few companies will pay and soured government refuses to intervene in the best interest of most of the general public . It is the fact of modern America.

    There is the option y'all move to another state where healthcare might be provided at lower cost from more socialist idealists.
    The world's big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Are there any charter or private aircraft companies in the neighborhood, where she might leverage her experience and skill set to something more than entry-level pay? Cruise ships? High-end restaurants or hotels? Casinos?

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    I would have thought that loss of income from loss of job was more important than loss of health insurance.

    One can buy an ACA policy. Maybe even get one free. One can even pay out of pocket. Health care is not tied to employment.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    I would have thought that loss of income from loss of job was more important than loss of health insurance.

    One can buy an ACA policy. Maybe even get one free. One can even pay out of pocket. Health care is not tied to employment.
    What if one makes enough to not qualify for subsidized health insurance through the ACA which is in danger of being repealed anyway? I pay $600/month for mediocre insurance through my employer's group rate, that's 10% of my income. I can't imagine if I made less. I have a lipoma that needs to be removed, it's getting in the way and gets bruised at times, My local DR is charging my insurance $12,000 for a simple out patient surgery that only requires local antithetic. I'm paying $600 out of pocket. That's ridiculous. I could cut it out myself and go to the ER to get it sown up for $150.

    And you know full well that healthcare is out of reach for the average American without insurance. Out of pocket for anything outside of checkups and minor injuries will ruin most people.

    Why do you continue to be so obtuse on the subject?
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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by McMike View Post
    What if one makes enough to not qualify for subsidized health insurance through the ACA which is in danger of being repealed anyway? I pay $600/month for mediocre insurance through my employer's group rate, that's 10% of my income. I can't imagine if I made less. I have a lipoma that needs to be removed, it's getting in the way and gets bruised at times, My local DR is charging my insurance $12,000 for a simple out patient surgery that only requires local antithetic. I'm paying $600 out of pocket. That's ridiculous. I could cut it out myself and go to the ER to get it sown up for $150.

    And you know full well that healthcare is out of reach for the average American without insurance. Out of pocket for anything outside of checkups and minor injuries will ruin most people.

    Why do you continue to be so obtuse on the subject?
    $600/month is $7,200/year. So your pay is somewhere around $72K. That gives you about $22K more than those at the median. And you are complaining about I don't know what. I have a lot more compassion for those at the median than for you.

    So how does it feel to be obtuse.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Could we focus on helping Tom and his ex?

    You're not going to solve healthcare here & now; if you want to try, please start a thread and take your catfight there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    I would have thought that loss of income from loss of job was more important than loss of health insurance.

    One can buy an ACA policy. Maybe even get one free. One can even pay out of pocket. Health care is not tied to employment.


    Obviously the loss of income is a problem as well. And I suppose the loss of affordable Health insurance is more accurate.

    You really are tone deaf to a lot of issues. She just lost a nearly 30 year career and health insurance and has no idea what she is going to do next. She wasn't making a lot of money but had her mortgage, car and bills covered. There just isn't much room for unexpected issues like this.

    Like many Americans, she gets by, but not much past that.


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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wilkinson View Post
    She has some 401k money but at 50 is a long way from drawing from that. No idea how much it is but I'm sure it's not a lot. Meeting with her this week to help develop a plan for finances while she looks for a job.


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    If the system cant be changed, and lets face it thats a long and difficult task, she might consider moving to a country that has universal healthcare, a pension system that is not in her employers control and where employers are required to be respectful of their employees.

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    I'm very sorry that this has happened to your ex Tom. I hope she has some savings to help her transition to whatever job might come next. I hope she has the fortitude to shake this off, even if it means starting over at the bottom with another airline. Her experience will carry her through and she should be able to exude confidence, all the while feeling "they surprised me once, but they'll never surprise me again!"

    I try to tell young relatives that you have to be absolutely cold blooded mentally with regards to employment. Somehow do your very best on the job, just as your wife has, and strive to be the very best employee, and appear to be dependent and loyal, but all the while fully realizing that at any minute the job can disappear with absolutely no compensation. All the while asking yourself, what would I do if this job disappeared. If a person can just do this for a decade or two, socking money away, then the tables are reversed, and the employers lose all power over you.

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    $600/month is $7,200/year. So your pay is somewhere around $72K. That gives you about $22K more than those at the median. And you are complaining about I don't know what. I have a lot more compassion for those at the median than for you.

    So how does it feel to be obtuse.
    I was stating that health insurance is a burden for me, all be it a manageable one. I'm not complaining about myself. I'm complaining for the 80% of people who make less than I do and the reality that I could be them in very short order through no fault of my own. I have enough reserves to last me three to six months and then I start to default on my mortgage. I save nearly 20% of my income as well. I'm still on the edge of the cliff all be it a few feet away and I'm doing great compared to the rest of the population. Middle class should mean that you work hard to provide for a modest lifestyle and financial security, it used to, not anymore.
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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by sharpiefan View Post
    Could we focus on helping Tom and his ex?

    You're not going to solve healthcare here & now; if you want to try, please start a thread and take your catfight there.
    Good luck on that. Health care, like the environment, is virtually impossible solve as an individual.

    The only solution I see is a lateral move that allows her to use her experience in new ways. So, the hotel and tourism industry?

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Tom, how about corporate / private aviation? You'd think that they would want highly experienced flight attendants?

    Companies like Starbucks:

    https://starbucks.taleo.net/careerse...n&src=JB-12106

    In-Flight:

    https://chk.tbe.taleo.net/chk05/ats/...&source=Indeed

    There must be others.

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    The OP gives an example of why we have a populist uprising on the left and right in this country.

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wilkinson View Post
    Obviously the loss of income is a problem as well. And I suppose the loss of affordable Health insurance is more accurate.

    You really are tone deaf to a lot of issues. She just lost a nearly 30 year career and health insurance and has no idea what she is going to do next. She wasn't making a lot of money but had her mortgage, car and bills covered. There just isn't much room for unexpected issues like this.

    Like many Americans, she gets by, but not much past that.
    I am not as tone deaf as you might think. I suggested that income was a more important matter and you seem to think that also. It is good to see that she has you to discuss financial matters with.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    That sucks, Im sorry for her. The US medical system is just appalling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wright View Post
    Tom, how about corporate / private aviation? You'd think that they would want highly experienced flight attendants?

    Companies like Starbucks:

    https://starbucks.taleo.net/careerse...n&src=JB-12106

    In-Flight:

    https://chk.tbe.taleo.net/chk05/ats/...&source=Indeed

    There must be others.


    Thanks. She is open to just about anything. Atlanta is preferred though since the kids are here. Definitely limits the options.


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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    That employers regularly stick it to employees isn't my take away from this. That Tom is concerned about his X's situation, and how he might help her, is my real take away. Impressive. I know that won't help her a bit, but Tom needs some big kudos. It ain't common. Nice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wilkinson View Post
    Express Jet. Their contract with Delta was terminated. They will still be flying for American and united but apparently are not allowing ex-delta contract people to move to the other sections of the company. She will try to get on with someone else but there goes all her seniority, decent pay, accrued vacation etc...

    Those are everything in a seniority based industry and that's why she has stayed with that company despite lower top pay scale. She has had maximum vacation time and been at the top of scale there for a long time. Makes it very difficult to change companies even when you have loads of experience. The whole industry is that way.

    I'm a 30 year mechanic with qualifications on nearly every aircraft we fly and if I were to go somewhere else it's back to square 1 for pay and vacation.


    I feel bad for y'all Tom. I'll have good thoughts for you, your ex and kids.

    Ken


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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    It is BS Tom. I'm a conservative that firmly believes in single payer healthcare, or at least somehow removing it from an employer based system.

    It's the topic I most wish both sides could find common ground on, and make substantial agreements on.

    We will... someday, I hope.
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Tom, I too admire your efforts to assist your ex-. Just a thought - since she has spent 30 years in (essentially) the customer service /
    support area - a flight attendant is first line of contact with the airline passenger - I would think she has definitely got the skill set for
    an online technical support position - there may be more of that position available in the Atlanta area.

    Rick

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Tom,

    I hope none of this is insensitive or clueless, just trying to help. I've been between jobs for long periods:

    1) Income; I don't know the state of family/where the kids reside, but possibly supplement income by renting out room(s) of her house on AirBnB. That would be the most profitable, if she lives in an area with demand. Having a long-term border is more stable but less money.

    2) Bail out; sell the house with the market high. Even if she moves to a lower income area, she will not buy another house with no income, however, if she has very low income, she might qualify for low-income housing (subsidized). Again, a lot of this depends on where your kids are. Another of the bail-out options, if she is adventurous, is get a backpack and travel the world cheap; a good number of people are doing this in their 30s, they jumped off the rat race because the expenses were so high, they calculated it was better to travel cheap and just park the house/car money in investments and let it build. Another option of this is do satisfying volunteer work that includes housing and a stipend.

    3) Get a lower paying job that offers housing; these are often resident assistant positions at apartments, or low-income or group housing, or assisted living. Another is home health care worker, with her training as a flight attendant, she might be able to quickly breeze through the training or go directly to the testing. Pay is not bad, there is a lot of demand for this.

    She should also try to determine the age distribution of her peers being canned. If it's the whole company, probably no recourse, but if there is a pattern of them canning the older workers, possible age-discrimination class-action suit (usually begins at age 50), lawyers love class actions if the odds of winning are decent, as the payoffs are big.

    I'll add things as I think of them.
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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Harrow View Post
    That employers regularly stick it to employees isn't my take away from this. That Tom is concerned about his X's situation, and how he might help her, is my real take away. Impressive. I know that won't help her a bit, but Tom needs some big kudos. It ain't common. Nice.
    Thanks Ed. Bottom line is this is my kids my and always will be. We didn't have an ugly drawn out divorce. We have tried to keep things civil and keep a good parenting relationship. It would be one thing if she was reckless with money and we had a strained relationship. She has done everything right given the choices she had at the time. They pulled the rug out.

    My kids live with here half the time, or have until my daughter started college, so if she is stressed it affects them as well.

    Thanks to everyone else for the well wishes and suggestions. Any ideas help regardless of whether they are a good fit for her. There could be others in similar situations that the guidance helps.
    Tom

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    Default Re: Health care tied to your job. The downside.

    A thought, Tom, several of them in fact. First of all I admire the fact that you and your ex get along well enough to share lives, even if in a different way than you did.
    Second, I wonder how firmly she is committed to her previously conventional lifestyle of job, mortgage, caring for kids and so on? A good friend of mine found herself "unexpectedly single" a while back, rented her house out, bought a small RV and now has a small business house sitting for people who travel or have job postings away from home, looks after the house, pets, occasionally an aged parent or a teen, travels to each gig in the RV and lives in camping grounds between. She works through an agency that gets the bookings, it only pays "ok" but with her mortgage and insurance covered by the rent she gets, her outgoings are light and she's really enjoying her very different life.
    I'm sure that there are other alternatives, cruise liners, tour guide, summer camp manager, school nurse, it may pay to think outside the box that we're taught is the only way to live.

    All the best with that.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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