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Is your employer turning into your nanny?
12

Is your employer turning into your nanny?

Is your employer turning into your nanny?

(OP)
Perhaps a bit off-topic, since this could apply to more than the engineering profession, is your employer turning into your nanny? Is your employer trying to be your mother, father, big sister, and best friend?

Earlier this month, nanny, kicked off the 2020 edition of the Wellness program. To those not familiar, it’s an assortment of annoying things employees (and their dependents) must do to get a discount on health insurance in the next year – things like tell nanny how many fruits and vegetables I ate today, how many steps I walked today, what did I do today that made me mindful, and it goes on, The website encourages us to form teams to have fun together and crush our wellness goals. It’s like a modern-day Hitler Youth rally. My sister works in a hospital and all she must do is answer a brief questionnaire and get a flu shot for her discount. what do other engineering companies do?

This year is worse, nanny, doubled the minimum number of wellness points from 100 to 200. Now I’m wondering if it’s worth doing it’s not like nanny gives us a great insurance plan. Last year, I was paying $160 bi-weekly for me and my better half. This year I’m paying $220 bi-weekly after the $28 bi-weekly discount, which was greatly reduced from previous years (stockholder wellness is more important than employee wellness). And the deductible is still $5,000. The wellness program is enough to make me want to vote for Bernie with his Medicare for all.

You can just imagine what our safety program is likebanghead


RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

Hah, that's something I'd like to see...

Hate to burst your bubble, but the wellness program is also about stockholder wellness, as there are lots of companies that are actually "self-funded" and cutting medical expenses returns money to the bottom line. It's just capitalism at work.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

My old....old plan had an integrated wellness program that paid out $50 per quarter by check if you hit the targets. I figured out ways to hit the target after 30 days, and then slack off the rest of the quarter. An extra $200 per year was fine by me. We then were switched to a plan with a wellness program that paid out like $20 per year which I subsequently put out of mind. The current plan has an ill defined "wellness program" that pays out $0 regardless of involvement so I waste even less time with that. In fact, I've spent more time typing this message than I have even thinking about my current "wellness program".

Andrew H.
www.mototribology.com

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

I've worked for several employers with organized "wellness plans," most of it was discounts and reimbursements for things like gym memberships tho pledging not to smoke and answering an annual health survey was worth ~$200/year off your health coverage. Overall tho most of it seemed like the usual minimum effort put in by corporate HR on a "feel good" program.

Given the title, I was expecting another thread about IT reviewing your browsing history.

And as I cant resist, no, my current employer isn't my nanny nor any relation tho I did serve in the military so at one time.....yes, they were.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

To get the discount we have to attest to being a non-smoker, to get a yearly physical, and to send in our “numbers” (height, weight, cholesterol, BP, etc., etc.).

I don’t try for the gift cards for wellness challenges.

Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

This has got HR written all over it. If there was ever any doubt that these people are rapidly becoming a hindrance rather than a support to the workforce, this should eliminate all doubt. And with the increasing watchfullness of IA, you just know that your data will end up in databases used by insurance companies , and NO, you personal data will not be protected.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

Actually this sounds like the social media companies - Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Collect data and interaction information of all kinds on a subject and then sell it. The basic business model here is not service/customer but predator/prey. With your health insurance you may pay a premiums, but you are not the customer - your employer is.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

2
I get the idea: on the whole, people that generally do or refrain from doing, this list of activities, are less apt to develop this other list of conditions that are costly for the insurance company to treat.

I encountered this during my stint of employment but it never sat well with me to divulge such intimate details to some anonymous bureaucrat.

I'm not saying that the ends are not noble. I just chafe at the means employed. I don't expect to be "paid" for doing the right thing. I'll drop a dime to provide a "tip" because its the right thing to do, not to get the reward.

I've seen a slow and steady Fabian intrusion into our freedoms from many directions, that seeks to usurp our autonomy and control our behaviors. I choose to pay more now to protect that freedom than later when the cost will be more dear.

And now, in many places in our land, there is an army of willing conditioned followers, ready to hoist a sign and dutifully shout meaningless slogans or mount protests at the behest of the puppeteers in places of power. And they'll GET their certificate of participation.

Skip,

glassesJust traded in my OLD subtlety...
for a NUance!tongue

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

3
There's freedom, and there's insurance; I pay my dues in the expectation that only a few bad apples exist that might jigger the statistics and drive up my rates.

So, anyone who's intentionally self-harming isn't doing that in the vacuum of freedom; they're blasting my financial well-being as well, in addition to degrading the stock market performance. If I try to eat right, exercise, and live right, then I should get a break on my rates, compared to the smokers, drinkers, and gluttons.

Not that different than getting a "good driver" discount on my car insurance.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

2
What IRstuff said. And none of this would even be getting debated if the 1% and their corporations actually paid their fair share of taxes on their actual income...

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

My company has a wellness program which includes a discount for not smoking and participating in the program if some of my health numbers are out of line, i.e. weight, blood work, blood pressure and other measurements. We have health coaches that help us form goals and check in on us about every 2-3 weeks to see how we are doing. It saves me about $125 per month on premiums.

Because my company is also self funded and provides a profit share at the end of the year - the less they pay in health care costs, the more I get in a check at the end of the year.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

Quote (PEDARRIN2)

my company is also self funded

How common is self funding these days? I'm sure my firm is way too small for it but I love that idea.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

Quote:

And none of this would even be getting debated if the 1% and their corporations actually paid their fair share of taxes on their actual income...

Having lived and worked in rural areas where the largest employer was Walmart and fast-food franchises, I could care less what employers pay in taxes so long as they keep employment local. The summation of employee incomes will always exceed employer incomes as a basic fact of economics, so obviously the critical metric to tax collection and thus the welfare of citizens is in fact employee incomes.

Quote:

How common is self funding these days? I'm sure my firm is way too small for it but I love that idea.

Every company that I know which employs several thousand folks self-funds, so basically everybody but small-business.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

It's a management of risk problem, which insurance does well for smaller entities that don't have deep enough pockets to handle blips in the risk profiles. But, given that they are self-funded, they have additional incentive to keep costs down and manage the outlier risks.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

Corporate income taxes a just a cost of doing business, which gets passed on to customers who ultimately is only the consumer. So corporate taxes are very regressive because they make prices higher for everyone. It is the poor who are hurt by this the most. This is also why corporations do stock buy backs rather than dividend distributions. The stock buybacks reduce their taxes and gets money to their shareholders as low taxed capital gains rather than higher taxed ordinary income. Most large corporations actually pay almost no taxes because the game is set up that way. Almost all politicians are part of the 1%. And I do not believe that this is due to an organized conspiracy, but due to human nature. The political parties, though, could be thought of as somewhat competing organized conspiracies.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

I ask myself what the societal costs of early death are compared to late-life decline and death. Is improving worker health an exercise in near-term profit maximization, or do lifetime costs warrant the push. How much of insurance industry costs can be pushed off on the seemingly infinite reservoir of medicare if the client can be coaxed across the medicare qualification line.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

There's that, but recidivism is typically so bad that the inevitable will still occur well before Medicare, and they'll likely run up gigantic bills because massive intervention will be required to prolong life. I doubt that most insurance companies worry about that, given that it's more likely that any given individual will switch jobs and be on some other insurance company's rolls.

Early death is still less desirable because those are ordinarily more healthy than the older clients, so the premiums come with less outflow compared with an older person.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

Interesting concept, completely foreign in this part of the world. You get a standard discount even if you're on deaths door. Usually all you can rely on your employer for is trying to put you in hospital or a mental asylum or both when it comes to wellness.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

(OP)
My employer is self-funded as well

Quote (I'm sure my firm is way too small for it but I love that idea.)


About 30 years ago, I was with a small company, ~100 employees, the owner decided to self-fund the insurance. I went from paying $50/month for a family plan to $200/month. Of course it wasn't easy to collect on a claim because the owner was embezzler.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

That's cheap. Our new insurance plan is $1,000 a month for a family.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

Just wait for Fitbit to come up with an under-skin fitbit with built in GPS tracker.

Your employer will probably want to tie compensation to your blood pressure and resting heart rate. Can't invest in training an asset with a short life!

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

(OP)

Quote (That's cheap.Our new insurance plan is $1,000 a month for a family. )


$200/mo was 30 years ago. Now I pay $600/mo for me and my wife, with a $5k deductible.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

geotechguy1 - they don't need a GPS tracker. You buy groceries, scan your grocery card for gas points, and pay with a credit card. So your junk-food purchases are tagged to your name in two databases. The cell phone you carry confirms it was you and not your kid. You sit at home and watch Netflix instead of exercising with your cell phone in pocket. So they see you're inactive, watching questionable content online, and your cell phone geo-location and accelerometers confirm your inactivity. And at any time your cell phone mic or camera can be turned-on remotely to get more data. Your doctor keeps records with cholesterol and blood pressure that are not private data anymore.... Ever heard of China's project Dragonfly? China was just the test-bed for Google... Shall I go on?

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

I've got an X-box and an Alexa so I think they've pretty much got live video and sound through most of my house

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

(OP)
George Orwell must have been a prophet ponder

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

Another Nanny-like behavior of my employer is every year they increase our participation in the 401(k) by 1% until we are at 10%. They think we are not capable of planning and executing on our retirement.

Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

(OP)

Quote (They think we are not capable of planning and executing on our retirement. )


We're offered 5 wellness points for speaking with a financial advisor with the 401 administrator. I agree with you; this is a no-brainer.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

Quote (bridgebuster (Civil))

George Orwell must have been a prophet

He sure as shootin' wasn't writing it down as an instruction manual, yet here we are.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

If I may bring in another viewpoint on some of these items: consider those in the first 1-10 years of their career.

Many people who are just starting out do not know what "work-life-balance" means and may need help finding it. That includes balancing the demands of an entry level engineering position (60+ hour weeks, etc.) and eating well and exercising. Providing these perks can help shift somebody's focus to these areas. Granted, I do think this is secondary - this one is mostly a profit motive as the insurance companies know that sacrificing $10 a month in premiums ($4800 over the course of a 40 year career) will probably save them 10s of thousands of dollars over the course of the person's life.

As for retirement plans, there is (or was) some need to re-educate people about retirement. I look at the experience of many of my colleagues and friends for an example. If I hadn't enlisted right out of high school, I would have walked out into the professional world and fallen straight into the deepest part of the abyss that was the financial crisis. Most people I knew in that situation either went through a round or two of layoffs and/or got a graduate degree or two while waiting for the job market to come back - all while racking up unconscionable debt and not getting worthwhile experience. In the meantime, they moved back in with their parents and watched as their parents retirement plans were seemingly crushed as 401k's fell through the floor. The result: a general distrust of investing and the established retirement planning techniques. For me, my dad is a blue collar worker and, until he was laid off a few years ago, had an old fashioned pension to look forward to. He didn't really need to learn about retirement planning and so didn't really teach me beyond basic savings accounts. So creating these programs that are compulsory unless you opt-out, they help people who otherwise may not venture into that kind of plan for fear or ignorance make the step toward planning for their future.

One key thing here is the "opt-out" I mentioned. If that's not there, then it is a problem. These programs are great for those that need them, but if you don't then you should have the flexibility to follow your own financial plan, etc.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

We have no "opt-out"; I went down that path. It ends when one contributes 10% of their own money.

I will have a pension, my wife will have a pension, we both will have SS, and I have enough banked in a couple accounts to have a good retirement when I pull the trigger. I still contribute 5%, so I get the company's 4% match (3% @ 100% and 2% @ 50%), but I don't want to contribute more. I've taken care of my retirement needs. That's why it riles me.

Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

Latexman - then I agree with you 100%. Social Security is the safety net for people who are unable or unwilling to set aside for their future. Your employer shouldn't be forcing you into retirement savings.

Here's an alternative, though: contribute it to a Roth account. Since you pay the taxes going in, it's a lot easier to get the money out again earlier without penalty. I'm sure there are special rules that I'm not aware of, but my financial planner informed me that, since much of my 401k is in Roth, I have access to the money if I need it (though they advised against that, of course).

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

It's all going into our Roth 401(k), I have too much in tax deferred already. I'm starting to get concerned about the "tax torpedo" when I turn 72.

Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

Latexman - first I've ever heard of the tax torpedo. Interesting. Adding it to my list of casual reading...

Thanks.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

It's when RMD's (required minimum distribution) kick in at age 72 (now) and you have to start emptying your 401(k)'s and IRA's and paying for those deferred taxes. Remember, it's deferred; not tax-free. I have a pension, my wife has a pension, we both have SS, and we have a decent nest egg in a 401(k) and an IRA.

Here's a Link. While there, use their search for "tax torpedo". Dozens of threads.

Also, to minimise the effects of the tax torpedo, look up "Roth conversion".

Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

My employer is definitely not my nanny. It's a mutually negotiated position where I'm reimbursed for providing value to the company beyond my salary, same as everyone else. Occasionally, I get sent to job-sites for conflict resolution and repair negotiation. They trust me to use my judgement to either escalate or resolve particular issues. I think the place I work has a lot of issues, like lack of redundancy for key/older employees, but the amount of freedom given to the small group of engineers is remarkable. Small/medium business is so refreshing compared to corporate.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

When I started in 2003, my company had about 100 employees and was self funded. My cost for a family plan was $0.50 per month (that is not a typo). Today, we have about 250 employees, still self funded and my monthly cost for a family plan is $176.00 which is orders of magnitude percent increase, but still much lower than other similar plans. I think my deductible is $750 but I could be wrong since I seldom use my insurance and use a pre tax FSA to pay out of pocket.

RE: Is your employer turning into your nanny?

I sign up annually for the family plan with the most coverage, usually its ~$300/month with dental, vision, and either insignificant or zero copays and deductibles. When I was considering freelance contract work a few years ago I quoted insurance through the various professional societies, IIRC they were all fairly similar at ~$600/month with ~$3-5k deductibles.

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