Congratulations on that new job!

So things are looking up with a new job offer.

You’ve worked out the details of your starting pay, your hours, and benefits at your new job. You know they have health insurance for you.  Although they are not required, you know they have health coverage for your wife and kids. But did you find out how much it will actually cost you to pay for your dependents?

In Nevada, if your employer offers health insurance to its employees, they will pay at least 50% of the cost of you as an employee.  Let’s assume for a moment you are around 45 years old and your employer offers a middle of the road plan.  The insurance company will charge your employer about $300 a month. This is your total premium (depending on where you live in Nevada). Your employer will pay $150 or more of that for you, leaving you to pay up to $150. Not a bad deal and most employees are good with that.

What about your dependents?  Your new job will cover them, but at what price?  Did you ask your new employer while you were interviewing what the cost of the health insurance will be for your whole family?

Employers in Nevada are not required to pay any portion of the cost of health insurance for your dependents. Many of them do not, particularly small employers.

That means you get the pay the entire amount of the cost of their insurance.  Let’s say your wife is the same age as you and you have three kids under the age of 21.  For this average plan, the wife’s premium will be the same as yours. It is about $300 a month and the kids will cost about $135 apiece (or closer to $200 apiece if they are 21-26 years old). So the cost for your dependents will be about $705. If your new employer doesn’t pay anything for your family, you get to pay this entire $705 charge on top of the $150.

If you did not know about this $705, this can be a real shocker. The point being, make sure you discuss health insurance and the cost of it before you say yes to the new job.

One more thing. If you or any of your family members are enrolled through the Health Insurance Exchange and are receiving subsidies (tax credits) to help pay the premiums, leaving family members on the Exchange health plan to save costs on premium is not an option. Because of the way Obamacare was written, once your dependents are offered health coverage through your new employer, with a very rare exception, they are no longer eligible for subsidies through the Exchange.

If you have any questions on this or if you want to compare the benefits of your new employer health plan with one from the private market, I would be happy to assist.

Jake Young

Individual and Family Specialist since 2002