Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Shitty Agency Health Insurance



Let's say your on your 13th hour of clicking away in the cockroach infested Paul Weiss basement, and you suddenly experience a sharp radiating pain and tightness in your inner chest. You know that document review increases your likelihood of deep vein thrombosis, and you are keenly aware of the fact that two of your colleagues recently passed away from massive coronaries. What do you? Do you go to the hospital?

Let's see. Worst case scenario, you at least have your trusty agency health insurance to fall back upon. The firms/agencies may be stealing away 80% of your salary, and the ABA may be allowing biglaw to treat you like a bunch of subhuman day laborer miscreants, but at least you have your health insurance and free Hudson pizza on Thursdays! Surely, those hundreds of dollars that get taken out of your paycheck every month must be good for something.

Let's examine a typical plan.

Robert Half Legal offers the Aetna Affordable Health Choices BenefitsPLUS Group Plan. Suppose, you need a simple stent and angioplasty, a single day procedure that generally runs in excess of $50,000. You breath a sigh of relief, until you actually read the terms of your shitty health plan. After a $200 deductible, Aetna will only cover $250 for a night at the hospital, $1,500 for surgeon fees, $250 for the anesthesiologist, and $1,000 for "other hospital services," whatever that means.

If you decide to go through with the procedure, you will essentially be responsible for the entire hospital bill, and you can count on being stuck for several more years in document review hell, in order to pay it all off. And, this isn't even all that serious. What if, god forbid, you contracted cancer, or needed open heart surgery? It's a horrible thing to consider, and enough to make someone want to go off to the bar, get inebriated, and just hope that one doesn't wind up like their colleagues who were carried out of the basement and placed in a mortuary.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did they have to carry R. from the basement? What happened? That was some terrible news.....

Anonymous said...

If you are working long days, get off your ass and walk around the office once in awhile. Also, get a lunch time gym membership.

Anonymous said...

If you are working long days, get off your ass and walk around the office once in awhile. Also, get a lunch time gym membership.

Anonymous said...

What "office" and what lunch time? We are contract attorneys. We are Triangle Shirtwaost employees with useless law degrees.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Have you ever tried to walk around a sweatshop? You are bound to trip over computer wires and crammed in bodies. You are safer staying in your seat all day like Humpty Dumpty.

Anonymous said...

TRUE TRUE TRUE.

The agencies offer limited-benefit plans for routine office visits. The insurance is in NO WAY intended to cover major illnesses. In most cases, the insurance is of NO BENEFIT precisely because of the scenario you described. The insurance, in my opinion, is only useful for those healthy individuals who are unable to save up that $500 or whatever for an annual physical and would prefer to pay for it over time.

As someone with a chronic illness, I'm sadly familiar with the ins and outs of the system. A hospital/clinic social worker actually advised me against the limited benefit plans offered by the agencies. In other words, I'm better off without any insurance because having even some insurance precludes me from "compassionate care" programs offered at hospitals and clinics.

Don't waste your money! The insurance offered by the agencies is not worth it.

Anonymous said...

http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Jobs/JobDetails.aspx?ipath=EXIND&siteid=cbindeed&Job_DID=J7X4JN65JL3D1GWY07G

Could it be, Satan's Workshop firing back up?

Anonymous said...

http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Jobs/JobDetails.
aspx?ipath=EXIND&siteid=cbindeed&
Job_DID=J7X4JN65JL3D1GWY07G

Anonymous said...

Ah, return of the infamous non-admitted large scale NYC Hudson project. I wonder if they will bring Lisa Hart back for an nightmareish encore. Run like hell!

Anonymous said...

The Paul Weiss new office will be on top of the seedy Port Authority Bus Terminal. So TTT.

Anonymous said...

What about joining the Freelancers Union??? They DO offer insurance plans though I don't know the requirements + you can join if you're a temp. I just did so & my situation doesn't even directly fit one of their options. Otherwise, get a spouse who works for the government (city, state, I imagine federal) since those benefits are great.

Maybe this is why some of you should consider going solo or leaving the legal field instead of doing this for years on end. Not to say it's right but in case you didn't get the memo, it's everyone for him/herself.

Anonymous said...

4:37 yeah, and once you try to use your insurance and the insurer discovers you were not qualified to be part of the group plan, guess what, you not only won't get benefits but maybe even a charge of fraud. So I guess i'll just use your plan B and go marry a postal worker for the bennies. Brilliant!

life insurance broker Toronto said...

What's the meaning of health insurance, if it doesn't cover the biggest problems?? The backbone should be the coverage of serious illnesses. I am dealing optional health insurance and life insurance in Canada and here, the main expenses are covered by government and some minor, "everyday" expenses, are paid cash or covered by private insurance. That's second way how to cope with it. Can somebody say, how much does cost FULL coverage policy in US? I am just curious...
Lorn

Anonymous said...

Well, Canada doesn't have to run an oil empire.

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Anonymous said...

Hudson sucks!

Anonymous said...

Hudson sucks!

Anonymous said...

Hudson sucks!

Anonymous said...

Yet another hole is blown into USS temptanic....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
article/2008/05/10/AR2008051002355.html

Anonymous said...

"Ninety percent of a lawyer's work is legal research and drafting, and all this can now be offshored to India," said Russell Smith, who worked in a Manhattan law firm called SmithDehn before moving to India to set up an outsourcing company in 2006. "A large portion of our fees in the U.S. is because of office rent. It is often a big decision to hire one attorney in the U.S. In India, we can hire 10 at a time and train them all at once."

Anonymous said...

Sharma, the Quatrro employee, said he was fascinated by the speed of proceedings and judgments in the American system.

Indian employees have to undergo rigorous training in U.S. legal and judicial practices before they can take on projects. But lawyers with experience in the United States say there are challenges in training Indians.

"They write in flowery, British-style English," said Kunoor Chopra, who came to India to set up the offshore legal support firm LawScribe in 2004 after working for Fulbright & Jaworski in Los Angeles. "It is almost like an unlearning process. They have to be retrained to write in crisp, short sentences. A licensed attorney from California comes to train all my new employees in contract writing, review and research."

Meanwhile, Sharma said he learns something new every day doing legal work for Americans.

"I have learned so many new words," he said. "I keep Dictionary.com on standby. Recently, I had to look up the word 'esquire.' I always thought it meant a respectable gentleman. But in America, it means an attorney."

Anonymous said...

If 90% of an attorney's work can be offshored to India, doesn't this mean that much of this work could be done by non-lawyers here in the United States?

What was the point of going to law school? Taking the bar?

This is truly a TTT profession.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is becoming a useless degree and no one does anything about it, from the law schools, to corporations, to the law firms and the ABA...soon there will be no need even for solos, all law will be handled by big law or by franchise-like chains run by utter sleazebags. Many of the solid entry law jobs are being handed over to foreigners who have to be coached in the American legal system, while thousands of our own law graduates cannot find any kinddecent work in their chosen profession.

Isn't there something horrendously wrong with this scenario?

It's a race to the gutter and we're winning!

Anonymous said...

When are we striking?

Anonymous said...

I am not sure when health insurance/ healthcare in this country got so f**ked up. Paying $30K for an appendix removal is unbelieveable.
I actually have a co-worker here from India. He said they have socialized medicine in India. Each person pays a reasonable paycheck deduction tax. I could not findout what reasonable was. This gives the family $120K a year for healthcare. His father had a heart attack in India an the whole thing cost him $50K. He said he knows of no one who went over the limit.

Anonymous said...

and now they are getting our jobs. Not having to attend pricey ABA schools, better healthcare? Wow, we are really being screwed.

Anonymous said...

Look on the bright side.

Hopefully, all this points to law being abolished in toto. Then assault, battery, and homicide will be legal and the scumbags we rant and rave about on here can really get what they deserve.

Anonymous said...

hmmm, maybe that's the ultimate goal. But I do think that there will always be a place for criminal lawyers, as the govt will be prosecuting. But the business work is clearly being commoditized to a large degree. We always said thatany monkey can do this work and I guess that's true. What's a little shocking is how little the law schools or bar assocs have done, as the stand to be big losers in all of this.

Ride it until collapses or find something better.

Anonymous said...

Quite your crying, you make more than 90% of the worlds population. Your all a bunch of useless crybabies. No one is making you work as temp attorney and no one is making you work as a lawyer. You made your choice, life isn't fair, move on and do something about it.

Anonymous said...

If one's illness/injury is work related, then it is a workers compensation matter. Like any other medical insurance policies, the mini-medical insurance policies (commonly known as "mini-meds" because the coverage is so small) sponsored by the temp agencies will probably not pay/cover anything work related. (Some temp agencies do not offer any medical insurance, whether it be comprehensive or a mini-policy) Instead, once it finds out that an illness/injury is work related, the medical insurance company will probably expect one to file a claim with the workers compensation carrier of the temp agency. The next question is how receptive the temp agency is going to be when someone files a workers compensation claim. Will the temp agency ever call anyone who has filed a workers compensation for a new assignment or project? That being said, if an injury/illness is work related, one is probably better off filing a workers compensation claim, since it is so easy to "max out" the minimal amount of coverage offered by the temp agencies health plan. In short, the dilemna is between 1) maxing out the mini-med policy of the temp agency on a work related claim that should be filed as a workers compensation claim with the temp agency's workers comp carrier and 2) the temp agency illegaly "retaliating" by firing you or simply not calling you in the future regarding a possible assignment/project, with the latter less covert action being harder to prove.

Does anyone have any experience in filing a workers compensation claim with the temp agency's comp carrier?

As to question "life insurance broker toronto" regarding the cost of full coverage of health insurance in the US, check out www.tnhis.com (The New Health Insurance Solution) which discusses about getting "full coverage" in the US. Getting an individual medical insurance policy is probably the best solution to being reliant on "shitty agency health insurance." With your own medical insurance, that insurance continues when the project/assingment stops, whereas the "shitty agency health insurance" does not continue.

Reza said...

Interesting to know.

Anonymous said...

Sharma the Indian lawyer said,

"Recently, I had to look up the word 'esquire.' I always thought it meant a respectable gentleman. But in America, it means an attorney."

Classic!