Getting cash instead of health insurance

I get health insurance through my parents because I’m under 26.  My employer offers insurance, which I do not take – saving them a lot of money.  Can I demand a raise since they don’t have to pay for my insurance?

Feeling Gipped

Dear Feeling Gipped,

Some employers offer workers “benefit dollars”. If the person does not spend them all on benefits, the difference gets added to his salary. Generally, the person has to show that he has coverage from someone else (a parent or spouse). This addresses the insurer’s concern about only having the sick people enroll and having everyone else who would prefer more beer money in their paycheck drop out.

If your employer does not offer this “benefit dollar” approach, then there is nothing you can do to demand it. You could encourage them to consider it, but it is their choice.

As a side note — you might want to make sure that your parent’s plan will let you stay on it. Many plans do not allow adult children who have their own employer’s plan offered to them.

You’d be better off becoming a more valuable employee — like blowing through your sales quotas — than by becoming a cheaper employee.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.