Job hunting for medical benefits? Tips on how to get them

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man seeking medical insurance

Many job hunters are motivated to find a position with medical benefits.

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Last week I had an Interview coaching client who was in a dilemma. Beth was a devoted mother. She stopped work when her first son was born 21 years ago and raised two boys and a girl. Now, she is in her early 50s and quite unhappy, sitting in an empty house. Beth and her husband Danny, go to the movies a lot. They are also spending way to much time just staring at each other, thinking, “I wish one of the kids would come home.”

The emptiness is a tough time for most people, especially women who have been devoted mothers to their children. I know, I’ve lived through it myself. In Beth’s case, it was Danny who suggested she get a job to get medical insurance for the family. Danny owns a business, and they paid a lot of money to buy the family medical insurance. It cost them over $40,000 a year. If she could get a job where she could provide medical insurance for the family, it would be a significant saving. So getting medical insurance for the family was what was driving her job search.

Contrary to most people’s beliefs, not all employers offer health insurance. A little over half of Americans under age 65 — about 158 million people — get their health insurance through an employer. 

 Needing insurance is a primary motive for many baby boomers to go to work. 

Her husband, Danny, knew a principal in one of the local high schools and was talking to him about his wife. The principal mentioned that they had a para-professional position opening up where you work with special needs kids. The principal encouraged Beth’s husband to have Beth apply. She did.  

Beth is a kind-hearted soul who was put on this planet to take care of others. She had not been in an interview in over 20 years. “I have no skills,” she said. “I’m not qualified. So what should I do?” We discussed the volunteer work she had done at the school where her kids attended elementary school. She was a frequent volunteer, and she grew up with a brother who has severe depressive and anxiety episodes and is bipolar. She has great patience with him and seems to have a calming effect on him. I thought this was notable experience to discuss in the interview. 

She found that the principal was the interviewer, and it helped reduce her nervousness. The principal just told her about the job and said, is this something you think you can do? She was prepared and answered correctly and told him how she had raised her three children and had a brother with special-needs. The principal was sold and offered her a job. So for the first time in 21 years on Monday, Beth goes to work. One significant advantage she thought would be having a school schedule. She gets Thanksgiving off and two weeks at Christmas off, plus she gets a vacation for midwinter and spring break, and of course, she gets summers off too. So she loved the schedule. But the real reason, Beth said, that she is heading back to work was to get medical insurance for her family. The school district’s medical dental and vision policy that comes from the state covers the family, and she only has to pay a few hundred dollars for that coverage. So not only was she getting paid, but Beth is earning an extra $40,000 that they would’ve spent on medical insurance. She was delighted about the logistics and happy the job offers terrific benefits. 

What about you? Do you need medical insurance? Many people work because they lack coverage. There are many companies out there that offer insurance for you. How can you find the right companies? The ones that have good policies and not one with a $5,000 deductible. 

Do research. For example, Starbucks offers its workers medical insurance if they work part-time. So does Whole Foods, Costco, REI, Nike, UPS, Lowe’s, Lands End, JPMorgan Chase, and Staples. Many other large companies offer excellent medical insurance to employees too. Pay attention to the advertisements that you see when you’re walking by a store because now many stores have “we’re hiring” signs out. A significant number now add, “benefits included”. 

Consider state or federal positions. These jobs offer excellent medical benefits. Their application process, though, is long, and it can take up to a year to get hired for federal positions. You have to have the specific qualifications that are necessary, but if you need to return to work, governmental jobs are an excellent place to search.

Seek out larger employers. Although some small professional companies will offer medical insurance, many times, it’s the larger organizations that have excellent benefits for all their employees, including medical, dental, and vision. Be sure you investigate because not all companies have great policies. A recent client was very unhappy when she learned that her new employer offered insurance with a $5000 deductible and a closed network of doctors and hospitals. Before you accept a job, inquire about what kind of medical coverage the employer offers. Excellent coverage with little paid by the employee is getting rarer, so always look under the hood if your primary motive to getting a new job is for medical insurance coverage.

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Last week I had an Interview coaching client who was in a dilemma. Beth was a devoted mother. She stopped work when her first son was born 21 years ago and raised two boys and a girl. Now, she is in her early 50s and quite unhappy, sitting in an empty house. Beth and her husband Danny, go to the movies a lot. They are also spending way to much time just staring at each other, thinking, “I wish one of the kids would come home.”

The emptiness is a tough time for most people, especially women who have been devoted mothers to their children. I know, I’ve lived through it myself. In Beth’s case, it was Danny who suggested she get a job to get medical insurance for the family. Danny owns a business, and they paid a lot of money to buy the family medical insurance. It cost them over $40,000 a year. If she could get a job where she could provide medical insurance for the family, it would be a significant saving. So getting medical insurance for the family was what was driving her job search.

Contrary to most people’s beliefs, not all employers offer health insurance. A little over half of Americans under age 65 — about 158 million people — get their health insurance through an employer. 

 Needing insurance is a primary motive for many baby boomers to go to work. 

Her husband, Danny, knew a principal in one of the local high schools and was talking to him about his wife. The principal mentioned that they had a para-professional position opening up where you work with special needs kids. The principal encouraged Beth’s husband to have Beth apply. She did.  

Beth is a kind-hearted soul who was put on this planet to take care of others. She had not been in an interview in over 20 years. “I have no skills,” she said. “I’m not qualified. So what should I do?” We discussed the volunteer work she had done at the school where her kids attended elementary school. She was a frequent volunteer, and she grew up with a brother who has severe depressive and anxiety episodes and is bipolar. She has great patience with him and seems to have a calming effect on him. I thought this was notable experience to discuss in the interview. 

She found that the principal was the interviewer, and it helped reduce her nervousness. The principal just told her about the job and said, is this something you think you can do? She was prepared and answered correctly and told him how she had raised her three children and had a brother with special-needs. The principal was sold and offered her a job. So for the first time in 21 years on Monday, Beth goes to work. One significant advantage she thought would be having a school schedule. She gets Thanksgiving off and two weeks at Christmas off, plus she gets a vacation for midwinter and spring break, and of course, she gets summers off too. So she loved the schedule. But the real reason, Beth said, that she is heading back to work was to get medical insurance for her family. The school district’s medical dental and vision policy that comes from the state covers the family, and she only has to pay a few hundred dollars for that coverage. So not only was she getting paid, but Beth is earning an extra $40,000 that they would’ve spent on medical insurance. She was delighted about the logistics and happy the job offers terrific benefits. 

What about you? Do you need medical insurance? Many people work because they lack coverage. There are many companies out there that offer insurance for you. How can you find the right companies? The ones that have good policies and not one with a $5,000 deductible. 

Do research. For example, Starbucks offers its workers medical insurance if they work part-time. So does Whole Foods, Costco, REI, Nike, UPS, Lowe’s, Lands End, JPMorgan Chase, and Staples. Many other large companies offer excellent medical insurance to employees too. Pay attention to the advertisements that you see when you’re walking by a store because now many stores have “we’re hiring” signs out. A significant number now add, “benefits included”. 

Consider state or federal positions. These jobs offer excellent medical benefits. Their application process, though, is long, and it can take up to a year to get hired for federal positions. You have to have the specific qualifications that are necessary, but if you need to return to work, governmental jobs are an excellent place to search.

Seek out larger employers. Although some small professional companies will offer medical insurance, many times, it’s the larger organizations that have excellent benefits for all their employees, including medical, dental, and vision. Be sure you investigate because not all companies have great policies. A recent client was very unhappy when she learned that her new employer offered insurance with a $5000 deductible and a closed network of doctors and hospitals. Before you accept a job, inquire about what kind of medical coverage the employer offers. Excellent coverage with little paid by the employee is getting rarer, so always look under the hood if your primary motive to getting a new job is for medical insurance coverage.

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