Can I Say No to Health Insurance and Get a Raise Instead?

by Evil HR Lady on February 11, 2011

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I’m retired from the Navy and, therefore, covered by military health insurance. When the economy took a dive I declined the company paid health coverage. In three years of not paying for this, the company is saving around $16,000. This summer will make three years since I’ve had a pay raise. Is there a tactful way for me to mention the amount of money the company has saved, and ask for a raise based on that? Or is that horribly tacky? I’ve done a lot of good things for the company, and just based on the fact that I’m still employed, I know I’m appreciated. At this point I would just like a little more tangible proof!!

Can I Say No to Health Insurance and Get a Raise Instead?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Corey Feldman February 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Some companies do a benefit uplift. It's actually pretty common with government contractor with (SCA) service contracts. OK you don't want benefits, here is your 3.50 Health and welfare contribution as a line item on your paycheck.


Meredith's Dad February 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Is the $16,000 based on the cost of premiums, or health care claims? If it's premiums and it's a fully insured plan, I'm sympathetic to this argument. But if the employer plan is self-insured, there isn't an actual premium payment being made, hence no savings by you declining coverage. In fact, if there are employee contributions required and you aren't participating, you're actually costing the plan money.


Mike C. February 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm

If I were told no simply because I could change my mind and enroll later I would laugh simply because the employer can do that with just about every aspect of one's job!

To add a bit more content, what about set bonus checks for each year the benefits aren't chosen? That would eliminate the issue altogether.


Anonymous February 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Sometimes the company may need you on their plan. Our plan cost is based on the number of employees enrolled; with a few more enrollees we would qualify for a greater discount.


Anonymous March 7, 2011 at 6:48 am

Hi, I tried this, but in my situation my employer said they were not allowed to "offer" benefits for turning down insurance based on their contract with the insurance co. I trust the boss that said this, but this may be just my work situation.


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