Belinda is presenting her findings on health care options to the management team at Bright Mountain Trucking:
“It comes down to this. We can actually save money if we just pay the tax for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act… “
“The what?” interrupts Bud.
“Obamacare. We can actually save money if we just pay the tax for Obamacare and don’t provide health care coverage any more for drivers. Then the drivers can buy coverage from the national health insurance pools.”
“How much is the fine?” asks Bud.
“$2000 per driver. And it’s not a fine. The Supreme Court ruled it’s really a tax.”
“Two grand per driver…you gotta be kidding me. How can paying a fine, or tax, save us money?”
“Well, do the math. Our cost per driver is $5800 per year. We pay $4000 per driver and the driver pays $1800. By just paying the fine, we save $2000 per driver.”
“$5800 per driver. That’s unreal. Why so much?” asks Fritz.
“Two reasons, really. First, health care costs in general continue to rise a lot faster than inflation. That’s no secret. The second is that a company is rated based on their experience with heath care costs. Truck drivers have higher costs based on their life style. They don’t eat the best food. They don’t get a lot of exercise. They’re subject to stress. Sleep apnea. You name it. So their ratings for premiums are higher than a lot of jobs. Our track record shows that.”
“Yeah, but doing it that way, we don’t get anything for our money if we pay the tax,” adds Cary.
“True. No argument there”.
Jack, President of Bright Mountain, steps in:
“Look, I wanted to have this discussion so everyone would understand the fix we’re in. Nobody knows the way the wind will blow. But I can’t see paying the tax as an option, even if it saves us a lot of money. How can we do that and still recruit and keep quality drivers? The drivers will gravitate to the companies that give them good benefits. There’s already a driver shortage and it’s not getting any better. How much time and money have we spent in the last year figuring how to recruit and retain them? We can’t blow it all by a half-baked scheme to try to save money.”
“So what should we do?”
Lou Graziani: creator of Bright Mountain Trucking
“transportation guru, training expert, and imagineer.”
This story continues…