Health Insurance for Dummies, Old-School Style
This year our insurance plan was "tweaked." At our last faculty meeting we bad lazy no-goodniks were chastised by the District Numbers Dude (henceforth known as DND) for the incredibly high coinage our insurance company has had to pay out in ratio to premiums paid. It is obvious that our refusal to drag our lazy butts in to school is the reason for this slacking when we should certainly just choose to do otherwise.
Apparently the gambit of offering people a hundred bucks for perfect attendance isn't working so well. (Show of hands-- how many of you out there have gotten to the point that you would PAY a hundred bucks to have a day off?)
So yes, we have to be "incentivized" ("I do not think that word means what you think it means....") by having a "doughnut hole" built into our coverage. This means that after a certain point, call it "x", we have to pay 100% of our medical expenditures, basically, until the insurance kicks in again at another certain point, call it "y." And of course, DND and friends don't call it a "doughnut hole" because that would mean that people would actually understand what this little tactic actually is.
Now let me just point out that it has never occurred to DND or any of the other Powers That Be that there are a few simple steps that could help alleviate ever-escalating health care pay-outs, and I bet it would be far cheaper than ever-increasing premiums, substitute pay, days of work lost, and cheap tricks. I mean, really, who wants to spend three hours writing lesson plans when they are sick so they can stay home and be miserable-- besides knowing all the work that is piling up while they're home sick?
Here they are, and these could be done on rotation:
1) Clean the ductwork in the buildings at least every other year. Our ceiling tiles are coated in a black gunk near the air vents which is disgusting. I know one building in our district in which several people have had to have polyps removed from their sinuses. See point number 4 below.
2) Patch the holes in the roof of every building.
3) Replace the ceiling tiles. They are over thirty years old and are coated with mold, mildew, and black gunk.
4) Realize that since we have an industrial site next door to our school, we cannot open the windows, which would help freshen the air. Most of our illnesses are respiratory in nature.
5) Hire a contractor who will provide healthy, fresh, recognizable food in the cafeterias.
6) Create a wellness program which actually interests people-- volleyball leagues, kickball leagues, 5K run/walks.
7) Redo the molding along the floors, which currently has gaps and loose edges granting entree to all kinds of critters.
Look, I know there are other school districts in far worse shape than we are, but that is still no excuse, given the waste and inefficiency that permeates budget decisions throughout the process.
And I'll tell you something: the first time one of my skinflint colleagues drags his sorry behind in to work while he is sick with H1N1 just so he won't lose that hundred bucks, I'm coming over to THEIR house so they can nurse me back to health.