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ralph:"At both places, I inquired about getting the monthly health insurance premium paid directly to me, and I'd take care of my own health needs. At the first job, circa 1995, the premium was $297/month, they told me I could get $93."

Likely, the insurance premiums were a deductible cost from net income for the company. They gave you the after tax savings (and cost of administration for the special exception). At some companies, IF you are covered by a spouses plan, you can opt out but don't get much - but many companies have 'umbrella plan' so you could get increased life insurance or free dental or vision or other benefit. Lose it or use it....your choice.

Part of it also could be some employees wanting every one of their 'earned dollars' in their pockets and they don't worry about getting sick....they never have gotten sick before..... (until they do - but they want their MONEY and want it NOW)....

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