I used sarcastiquotes because calling that plan health insurance is like calling Sarah Palin a feminist. Lots of people do it, but it still doesn't make any sense.
That "health insurance" cost $50 a paycheck, had an overall cap of $10,000*, a deductible of $1,000 and a monthly pharmacy cap of $75. So, yeah, they wanted to steal $2,600 a year from me for no really good reason. And they called it health insurance, I guess just for the added benefit of insulting my intelligence.
So, when McDonalds claims that the crap they're offering their employees is health insurance, only in the sense that Sarah Palin is a feminist. But McDonalds is more than willing to sell the idea to Congress, who is pretty darn interested in listening, though not actually in having "health insurance" themselves.
Among hearing witnesses, Team Better-Than-Nothing was headed up by Rich Floersch, executive vice-president for human resources at McDonald's Corporation. McDonald's helped win itself a crucial waiver from the health-reform law, Janet Adamy reported two months ago in the Wall Street Journal, by threatening to HHS that if forced to comply it might just have to withdraw health coverage from thousands of fast-food workers. McDonald's offers hourly workers at its 1,500 company-owned restaurants four health-insurance options, Floerschexplained. Only one of these options (annual premium: about $6,000 per year, obviously more than most hourly workers can pay) is "comprehensive" (i.e., real) insurance. The other three are mini-meds. The cheapest option (and the one nearly all its hourly workers opt for) cost $710 per year in 2008 (presumably it's more expensive now, but apparently this was the most recent data the commerce committee could get) and had an annual benefit ceiling of $2,000. The other two options cost $1,332 and $1,947 per year and had annual benefit ceilings of $5,000 and $10,000. These same four options are also available from most of McDonald's' 12,500 franchisees.. . .Floersch said that McDonald's surveyed its employees and found only 10 percent willing to pay $21 or more per week for health insurance, as opposed to 55 percent who would be willing to pay $5 to $20 per week. He didn't mention (but a commerce committee fact sheet did) that the sliding premiums for the three insurance options available to corporate suits and some restaurant managers but not to hourly employees actually begin at levels below those paid by hourly workers for mini-med plans even though the suits' policies contain no annual benefit limits. That's right. Some nonhourly employees at McDonald's pay less for theirreal health insurance—with no annual limits and, indeed, an employee out-of-pocket maximum of $4,000 for covered expenses—than the schmucks shoveling French fries and flipping Big Macs pay for fake health insurance with annual benefit limits of $2,000, $5,000, and $10,000, and no employee out-of-pocket maximum for covered expenses.Oh, and the absolute highest health premium the suits might pay ($1,435 for higher-earning employees in the "no deductible PPO") is less than a quarter the premium McDonald's expects the schmucks to pay for the only policy hourly workers can opt for that isn't a mini-med. [emphasis mine]
That's just evil.
*The ER charges $500 just for walking through the door, the walk in clinic next door to my work charges $85 to see a doctor, and a decent blood workup will run you upwards of $500. One mild bout of anything would bust right through that cap.