Employees of Buncombe County, NC, where I live, have to wait 6 months after being hired for their health insurance to kick in.
I hadn’t heard of such a long wait until County Commissioner Holly Jones told me this morning. The county will have to change its policy by Jan. 1, 2014, to comply with the Affordable Care Act, which allows no more than a 90-day wait.
I’m familiar with the wait, since Gannett Co., which owns some of the newspapers where I worked, requires new hires to wait 90 days. Even that is a long time to wait. My son, who works a union job at a plant owned by the Koch Brothers, was covered from his day of hire, even though there is a 90-day probationary period for new hires. That surprised me.
My question is, if the Koch Brothers offer immediate coverage, why can’t the county?
But according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Benefits Study for 2010, “The average waiting period among covered workers who face a waiting period is 2.2 months. While 29 percent of covered workers face a waiting period of three months or more, only 6 percent face a waiting period of four months or more.” Find the entire study at http://ehbs.kff.org/pdf/2011/8225.pdf
This bothers Commissioner Jones because the county provides public health services and as an employer, should set a better example. I agree. People shouldn’t have to work for six months without health insurance.