I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Speaking of benefits...

Since the budget speech, Christie has been pushing the notion that teachers got full medical, dental, and vision coverage for free. He pushed it on Morning Joe - but he was slippery. He managed to conflate teacher benefits with state employees', which he claimed was "full family medical, dental, and vision coverage." I can't speak to state employees, but...

I'm going through open-enrollment at my school right now. Let me tell you about my "full" coverage:

It's good. But the idea that I don't pay anything toward it is ridiculous. I have co-pays, deductibles out of network, and prescription costs like anyone else. Last year I could choose one HMO; this year, it's two (POS-types). If my doctor doesn't take it, tough. And I have to go through the same bureaucratic nonsense as anyone getting employer-based health care does.

My dental isn't even close to "full." I'm paying plenty for my kid's braces; I get partial reimbursements for routine procedures. My HR person tells me to look carefully every year at the insurance, because there's a good chance it's not worth the premiums.

My vision is a free examine every year and a discount on glasses - not a big discount, either.

Listen, if it comes off as whining, it's not. Like I said, this is pretty good; not France or Holland good, but good. But the notion that I wasn't paying anything for it before the 1.5% contribution is just not true.

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