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Jennifer Benz April 4, 2013 3 min read

What your employees are saying on Facebook about health care

Last week, Kristin, our Technical Lead, sent out an email to the team sharing a thread from her Facebook newsfeed. The conversation centered around her friends’ frustrations about medical bills and our health care system. It was a good reminder to think about how people around us (and your employees) feel about health care and insurance, and how it affects their lives. We asked Kristin to put together this blog post with her insights.

How real is the health care crisis in America to you? My guess is it depends on how often you visit the doctor and what type of insurance you have. I am quite lucky. My family and I have been blessed with good health, and we also have insurance that covers the times when we don’t. It would be easy for me to not realize how broken our system really is. Not everyone is so lucky.

Chances are, there are people you know that struggle with medical bills, doctor visits and insurance claims—you just may not know that about them. Be it a co-worker with the same insurance options or an old college friend, someone in your life probably knows the downside of our system all too well.

Below you will find a glimpse inside the thoughts of others, just like you, in an honest dialog on medical insurance. I came across this post on Facebook the other day. Health care reform is very real to these people, and these people could be your employees.

It is your job to remember that this is what is out there. People trying their best to make a life they are proud to live and, often, struggling to do so, regardless of their salary. When you communicate about benefits—and you had better be communicating—help them get a better idea of the big picture. Provide your employees with resources and explanations, not just more numbers and frustration. Help them to see the value in the benefits you provide, so they can help others around them to learn more as well.

Being a member of the Benz team has taught me so much about health care and the need for good communication. You won’t see many blog posts on our website with my name on them (I’m the technical lead hiding behind the screen), but that is what hit me most about this Facebook rant: Had I worked for a different company, I could have easily been one of these people.

Our medical bills may be the end of us… I am so sick and tired of working so hard and yet not being able to pay these medical bills (even with our insurance)... I think it may be easier to move to another country where healthcare is a right and not a privilege…

  • We all are going to start feeling this frustration very soon.
  • Just wait til 2014 when more of the mandates roll into effect.
  • I hear ya every month we pay a little bit off and we have insurance that we pay for out of our own pocket as it is. It makes me so mad when I went in and then [child] went in a few weeks ago to [clinic] walk in and they ask’d me right when I was checking in you owe us this month can you pay that off today. We pay off a good chunk every month. They way over charge and then the other thing to is they charge us even more because we have insurance to help cover [state-provided insurance] and that. UGH.
  • It is pretty sad to think I most likely will be going back to work next year NOT for the money but for the health insurance. I have 5 kids who will need to be raised by someone else because I can’t pay my medical bills. I am sorry but if my kid is sick I am taking them in NO matter what.
  • Staying positive… who needs a vacation with their husband at least once in 10 years… not us… who would love to take their kids to Disney, not us… who would like to be able to put her daughter in dance classes, not us…you get the point.
  • At least you have insurance. Living without it is a stressful and scary thing…and until next year when I “have” to have it or pay a tax, I’ve been denied coverage over and over for anything they want to decide is a “risk factor” or preexisting condition…or I can pay almost 50% of my net income… Talk about frustrating!!

Check out our recent post on what else your employees are seeing in the mass media regarding health care.

Jennifer Benz

Jennifer Benz, SVP Communications Leader, has been on the leading edge of employee benefits for more than 20 years and is an influential voice in the employee benefits industry.