Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meals Served with a Health Insurance Garnish

When I first read this, I thought my eyes were deceiving me. Can it be true that the Golden Gate (as in San Francisco) Restaurant Association has actually filed a suit to STOP the city from requiring employers to provide health insurance?

Deputy City Attorney Vince Chhabria said he'll file a response to the emergency request by March 27 and said the court could rule that same day.

"I think their motion is frivolous," Chhabria said. "GGRA's goal of taking away health care from tens of thousands of workers does not constitute an emergency that would require immediate Supreme Court attention."
This begs the question, which is more important? Job's or health insurance.

Of course Chhabria is clearly not a regular reader of InsureBlog or else he would know that lack of health insurance is not the same as lack of health care. Plenty of people obtain health care without the benefit of health insurance.

I have a problem with government intervention in the free market. If an employer CHOOSES to provide health insurance as a benefit, that is their prerogative. Same if they opt not to provide insurance.

In much the same way, if an employee wants a job that comes with health insurance they should seek out those jobs and bypass the ones that do not meet their need.

One restaurant has a novel idea that I like. They have what amounts to a tip jar to cover the cost of health insurance.

At the bustling French bistro Zazie in San Francisco's Cole Valley, one dollar goes a long way. That's how much owner Jennifer Piallat charges each customer to pay for health care for her 32 employees.

The dollars add up to about $11,000 a month - enough to provide Kaiser Permanente medical insurance, dental insurance and a 4 percent employer match on 401(k) retirement accounts.
How do customers react to the surcharge?

She said only 1 percent of her customers have complained about the surcharge. "And they were the 1 percent we didn't want to come back anyway," she said.
I am going to steal that idea and pass it along to my clients.
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