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Waiting 90 days for medical insurance

I recently received an offer at a startup and the offers states that medical insurance will take 90 days before it starts up.  This is not necessarily important to me (i.e. I'm already using catastrophic insurance), but it still seems unusually long to me.

How long is "normal" for medical insurance to start up after joining a job?  (In the past, I think I've experienced 30 days or so.)
Friday, August 17, 2007
90 is fairly standard
Friday, August 17, 2007
while the 90 day waiting period may be atypical, it isn't unheard of.
starving coder
Friday, August 17, 2007
Most companies I've been at were either immediately or within 30 days. 90 days is bullshit.
QADude Send private email
Friday, August 17, 2007
3 months is standard for benefits in Canada but we have universal health care so it really does not compare.  In general, the benefits are drug coverage, dental and vision care.  Delaying a dental or optometrist visit for 90 days normally is not a big hairy deal.
Billy Send private email
Friday, August 17, 2007
Any place I was it was for the same lenght as the probation
Friday, August 17, 2007
The job I'm at now had a 90 day wait. It's not that unusual. The other companies I work at all had 30. The thing that makes 90 tough is that you will end up having to pay COBRA. Since COBRA can be elected retroactively, a 30 day wait is nice because chances are, unless something drastic happens, you'll end up not having to pay it.

I've heard rumors of some employers helping to pick up some or all of the tab for COBRA, but I've not actually seen it in real life. Ask HR about this if you want. All they can say is "No, we don't do that."
Bart Park
Friday, August 17, 2007
90 is about normal.  I worked for one company that would start it in 30 days and another that wouldn't start it until the 1st of the next month after 90 days, so it could be approximately 120 days if you timed it badly.
KC Send private email
Saturday, August 18, 2007
In my experience health coverage starts on the first day.  I think this is typical for technology companies, big and small.

However, for other industries and more blue collar type work I think 90 days is standard.
Jason Send private email
Saturday, August 18, 2007
My insurance has almost universally started on the first day. It should be importnat. If you get into an accident you are screwed.

COBRA for one person on a PPO with dental costs me $440/month. Tell them you want $650/month more for 3 months to cover COBRA(due to taxes). if they say no pass on the job.

you need medical insurance.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
90 days is pretty normal.  You usually see 30, 60, or 90 day wait periods.  My company is in the health care industry, so I deal with this stuff all the time.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Get a Health Savings Account.... you get catastrophic care and then you put everything else into a bank account that you own.  You get to keep all of it whether you use the insurance or not.

"Needing" health insurance is FUD.
KC Send private email
Saturday, August 18, 2007
COBRA legislation and analysis by HR departments have been caused this change. Most new employees that don't work out usually leave in the first 90 days. This saves the company the employer share of medical benefits for that former employee. This equates to about $1800 if employer premiums are $600 a month as an example.

It could even get worse because the former employee is now eligable for COBRA from new company. If the company is self insured (which most larger companies are) and the employee has a huge medical claim (car accident, cancer, etc...) the company is forced to pay the medical bills.

This is a US specific problem most other industrialized countries have universal healthcare.
Do you want fries with that?
Sunday, August 19, 2007
All the big companies are immidiate.

Sunday, August 19, 2007
Once I went to work at a place that had a 30 day waiting period for medical insurance to start. Durning that time I found that I had a third testicle. (Was a harmless cyst.) The wait for insurance was a verrrry long that time. Since then I have only gone to compnies that have no waiting time. I know of several people that only change jobs in the middle of the week, so that they have continous medical coverage. (No weekend gap for them or their family.)
Eric Hamilton Send private email
Sunday, August 19, 2007
COBRA doesn't cost the company anything since the COBRA recipient pays the full rate. The full rate is often higher than self insurance if you are healthy. Its about the same for me since I am on allergy medication and get allergy shots so I just kept it. However, I think self insurance will be about $50/month lower, but I haven't wanted to deal with it.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Highest I've seen is 60. YMMV.
Duff Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
I've heard of 90 and 30 day waiting periods, but I've had companies waive that period because they liked me enough to do so. At this point I would insist that they waive it unless I had some other form of insurance, as you do. I'm not keen on being completely without insurance in America for any length of time.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I had a similar case. Big company. 60 day waiting period.

They couldn't wave it due to HR policy that anyone under a certain employee-grade in their Org structure must follow the standard guidelines. This was like, anyone below the department director level.

When I told them it was a big issue for me, a compromise was reached for them to reimburse me for COBRA payments until their insurance kicked-in.

+1 for creative solutions
Monday, August 20, 2007
>> I know of several people that only change jobs in the middle of the week, so that they have continous medical coverage. (No weekend gap for them or their family.)  <<

I never thought of that -- good idea!
xampl Send private email
Monday, August 20, 2007
It's always been immediate for me.  Small company, big company, non-profit.

This might be a misunderstanding - check and see if your coverage is retroactive for the first 90 days.  HR often takes 30 or more days to *process* the paperwork for insurance, but the coverage begins on your first day.  So while the first 30 (or maybe even 90) days wouldn't be the greatest time to have an elective medical procedure or drop by the dr's office, you'd be covered if you have a medical emergency.  And if you're willing to deal with the paperwork hassle, you can technically submit the claim for reimbursement once the coverage kicks in. 

But no coverage for the first 90 days?  I've never heard of that.  That said, I'd double check this - definitely don't assume it's retroactive.
gee bee
Monday, August 20, 2007
There are insurance options other than COBRA for most people. For example, you can get a short term, non-renewable policy to cover the 90 days.
Nutmeg programmer
Monday, August 20, 2007
I'm the OP.

FYI, I didn't mention this to the employer, since it isn't a big deal.  I'm fairly young and healthy and have been contracting/in school for the past two years and getting by with cheap, short-term catastrophic care, so I'll just continue with that for awhile.
Monday, August 20, 2007
so I'll just continue with that for awhile.

Until you get hit by prabability. Watch SiCKO. and you will see.

Monday, August 20, 2007

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