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Medical Insurance - the Next Benefit to Go

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by LanceyHoward, Oct 18, 2014.

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  1. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    I am posting this in journalism topics because I am trying to avoid an Obamacare discussion that would soon get blocked.

    Both the casinos in Atlantic City and the newspaper industry industry have seen revenue declines of about 50%. The Atlantic City casinos are all unionized and the statistic I have read is that the average casino worker makes 20K a year (which I don't think includes tips). The Trump Taj Mahal declared Chapter 11 (the Trump Plaza recently closed) and Carl Ichan, who owns the mortgage, went to court and just won a ruling where pension plans and medical insurance were eliminated.

    Employees will now receive a 401K contribution of up to one percent of salary and an extra $2,000 a year. They could use the $2,000 a year to buy Obama care if their incomes are not high enough to receive Medicaid.

    I wonder how long until this idea takes hold in the newspaper industry? If your shop is unionized the owner has to get out of the contract through bankruptcy but if you are at non-unionized shop management and you are not working under contract this could be imposed next Monday.

  2. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    They've already cut our retirement completely and they've also cut the 401k match completely after they used to match up to 6%. Some have also been forced to take week-long furloughs without pay.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see other benefits get cut as well, whatever is legally possible. Still, I think the direction my company is headed will be more layoffs followed by moving to a six-day or five-day printing run instead of daily. I could see our Monday and our Tuesday editions both getting slashed.

    Whatever is next, I'm not sure, but be assured something will definitely be cut soon no matter where you work.
  3. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Of course they'll cut medical coverage ad soon as they can. Like it or go get another job.
  4. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    They "can" right now. Or yesterday. Or tomorrow.
  5. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    No real way to have an adequate discussion on this important matter with one
    arm tied behind your back.
  6. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    The loss/refusal to offer medical benefits to employees will be among the most dangerous, calamitous trends expected to take hold in the next few years. It will do untold damage to families,the economy and society, and prompt even more anger, distrust and disillusionment than there already is between employers and employees, as well as between the general population and big government, which will be compelled to try to find ways to pick up the slack or fill the gaps I way that will satisfy few or be effective for hardly anyone.

    I work in retail now, and, more and more, part-timers are being shorted or eliminated with regard to eligibility for medical benefits and the premiums are being raised for EVERYONE seemingly every year, and insurance companies seem to pay for very little, and certainly, for less and less.

    I predict that things will get really bad before they're going to get better any time soon.

    And not just in the casino or journalism industries.
  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Maybe the idea of losing medical benefits is what finally reverses the trend of falling unionization in the private sector? Especially after a while in which companies stop bothering offering the extra $2K and just tell employees to suck it up.
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    My company's package is so bad I might be better off going with the federal plan.

    Aside: I don't understand how journalist unions function when it's so clear how replaceable we are.
  9. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    They're bogus too in the sense that, once you're unemployed, you're out of the union. Relatives and friends in trade unions have remained in those unions, with access to some group benefits, and assistance in finding their next job. You only exist to newspaper guild as long as the spigot of your dues is on in full.
  10. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Bullshit. My insurance has steadily declined in quality and increased in cost for the past 17 years. It totally sucks now. This is no defense of Obamacare, but that's just ANOTHER excuse for the corporations to slash benefits and continue to line the executives' pockets.
  11. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    Speaking of reduced benefits, I failed to mention that the cost/monthly premium for my health care has risen significantly the last 13 years. At the same time, the coverage is significantly less while the deductible is eight times what it used to be (was $250, now $2,000). We have a drug card that you must pay extra for and the percentage of what it will pay toward prescriptions has been reduced twice in the past five years while our office visit co-pay has also been raised on us from $25 a visit to $50 (we pay the first $50 and insurance gets the rest after the $2000 deductible is met).

    In a couple of instances, my doctor charged me $60 for a couple of checkup visits. I paid $50 to meet the office co-pay, my insurance paid $8 (80 percent) and then I picked up the other $2 (20 percent). I was paying $52 of the $60 to see my doctor, plus I was paying the monthly insurance premium to my employer.

    We get no vision coverage at all and our dental covers only the basics (two cleanings and one set of X-rays annually).

    I'm paying a hell of a lot more for a hell of a lot less than I was in 2001. Sad thing is, I can see it getting worse.

    Last year, I actually had to use my healthcare coverage for something costly but not especially serious. By the time I was done paying for it all, I spent about three times as much out of pocket as my insurance paid.
  12. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what the answer is, but I don't think unionization is it.

    I've worked in two places that had unions, and all that ever happened was that the dues got taken out of every paycheck. Seriously, that's it. All the unions did was take your money.

    And you had to join. At one place, a major UCFW grocery chain, there was no option. If you wanted to be hired on, you had to join the union. And I made less per hour there (about 4 1/2 years ago) than I ever have since the first job I ever had.

    At the other place, an SEIU county job, you had two options: You join the union, or else, you designate the amount that you WOULD'VE paid to the union eac year to an approved designated charity. But then, of course, you have not joined the union and would not be entitled to any of the little protection\benefits that could possibly be had in the event of any wrongful termination or other job issues.

    Most county employees figured that if that was the case, then they might as we'll join the union, and get whatever limited benefits there might be to that, even if they didn't really want to do it, and that's what most of us did.

    But all we really got was less money.

    Now, I work at Walmart, and despite its many oft-reported, sometimes-exaggerated issues, I am generally against unions and support that big, union-targeted company in that stance.
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