reply to post by windword
So there I was this afternoon, a few minutes to kill during an incubation step in my experiment and in my inbox was a direction to check out this
thread. It was from someone who knows me well enough to know that I spent 10 years waiting tables before this second career of mine, that my
boyfriend has also been in the food service industry for over a decade AND that my mom had been a waitress for over 30 years. She knew this would
really bug me. And it did! But then my timer went off and it was back to the grind. I was meaning to come back and comment much earlier, but my
work"day" (which stretched into the night) got away from me. As I began typing this, there were already 19 pages! Alas, too many to read. So
please forgive me if someone has already iterated/addressed my comments.
I'm not going to even bother discussing whether servers are charity cases and should receive more or less tips so that they AND EVERYONE ELSE IN THE
COMPANY can be offered health care coverage - that's a stupid, pointless argument. When you make your living doing a highly skilled job that
severely underpays your wages in exchange for a system that forces you to relies upon the "generosity" of others, then you get it. And if you
don't have the ability to empathize, then I don't have the ability to make you empathize.
I'm also not going to argue about whether restaurants and restaurant owners deserve to make a profit or should take a little less in order to pay for
health coverage for their employees. Because I don't have to. BECAUSE THAT IS NOT REQUIRED BY OBAMACARE (also known as the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act, or PPACA).
Sadly, I think many, many, many of you are going to be quite disappointed when in 2014 (yeah, cuz that's when this part of the law actually goes into
effect - IN 13 MONTHS FROM NOW) your jobs offer you at best coverage that you will pay for entirely. Not them. You.
It is misconception that your employer will be required to pay any part of your premium. First of all, if, and only if, a company employs 50 people
or more, then it must OFFER a plan or coverage. The employee can be asked to pay for the entirety of the plan. If the cheapest plan possible is more
than 8% of the employee's income, then the employee wont be compelled to purchase it, cannot be taxed/fined for not purchasing it and in fact will be
offered a tax credit if that employee still decides to purchase it. If the cheapest plan possible is more than 9.5% of the employee's earnings, then
the employer is penalized BUT NOT FOR THE FIRST 30 PEOPLE IT SCREWS OVER. The company gets a pass on the fine for the first 30 people. Every person
after that though for whom the cheapest plan possible would cost the employee more than 9.5% of their income, then the company is fined.
Which brings me back to the present and the reality of restaurants. In my experience (and I'm sure the experience of most of my friends and family
still in the restaurant biz), restaurants rarely offer insurance to servers, much less to dishwashers and other back of the house people. My
boyfriend works as the controller for a company that manages 8 bars and restaurants and his company used to be very much the same. Only managers and
officers (like vice president, etc) were offered insurance, and even then, the employee paid half of their premiums and all of any additional cost
family members added.
In the insurance biz, offering insurance to managers only is called Manager Carve-out and it results in a penalty to the company. In fact, their
premiums are higher than if they offered insurance to everyone. So my boyfriend, being the controller (which sounds like a wonderful, god-like job,
but really means he's the guy that is expected to know all about the money in/money out, financial reports, and even analyzing profit/loss reports)
realized he could actually SAVE the company money if they offered insurance to everyone. After much research, they found three different plans with
more or less coverage for more or less money - the employees voted on the cheapest one with the least coverage, especially since they were going to
have to pay the entire premium.
So how much did that cost the company? How much of a hit is the owner taking in his own pocket? NOTHING. Well, a few days worth of research and
speaking to insurance brokers. And, it actually brought down the cost of premiums for the managers and officers in the company even though they are
on a different (better coverage but more expensive) plan.
So I think it's bullshido that this restaurant owner wants to add a 5% surcharge just in case he has to pay something out of pocket when the
likelihood is that he (like my boyfriend's boss - come on, all millionaires are the same) will pass the entire bill on to the employees anyway.