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Author Topic: Negotiating a salary by declining health insurance?  (Read 860 times)
Frostburg
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« on: August 29, 2019, 01:32:07 PM »

So I just got a job offer at an animal hospital. It was unexpected since I havn't been looking for a job, but it was recommended to me by my sister. I asked for $18.50 an hour, but their offer letter said $17.50 an hour. The job is full time and comes with health insurance and dental, and 401k. I don't need the health and dental since I have my own insurance outside of the job. Can I tell them that I don't want the health coverage as a way to encourage them to give me the higher wage? I figure since I would be saving them money on health insurance, they might be more willing to give me the wage I want. Plus, they really really seemed to like me during the interview, and they sent me an offer letter only 24 hours later. So maybe I would get it? Does stuff work this way?
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thehun
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2019, 01:45:33 PM »

Most do not allow you to do that...its a HR liability...
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Andygold
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2019, 02:36:07 PM »

I work for NY State so things may be a bit different here than where you are.  If for example, my wife was employed by a different company, and each of our jobs offers health insurance, one of us could "opt out" of taking the insurance, and be covered under the other's "Family Plan".  If I opted out, the state would pay me about $3,000/yr.  I would see it as $119.00 in each of my 26 bi-weekly paychecks.

The county I live in gives $1,000 if you opt out of a county job, and the local school district gives the teachers $5,800 if they opt out.

My job itself I believe pays around $18,000 per year for my insurance (I pay in as well and pay co-pays), so if I opt out, and they credit me with $3,000, they are making out big time.

It might be prudent to find out, if you can without causing trouble, what the job would be paying towards your health care.  Then you could figure out the cost savings to them.  I work a 35 hour work week, which is 1827 hours per year.  Using my numbers as an example, if I asked for an extra dollar per hour, it would cost them an extra $1827 per year in my salary, but opting out of health care coverage saves them $15,000 per year ($18,000 - $3,000). It's still a huge win for them.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 03:16:41 PM by Andygold » Logged
Frostburg
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2019, 04:01:00 PM »

This is a small vet clinic. They have two locations within 6 miles of one another. The company has like 60 employees total. The place where I work has maybe a little over 30 employees. It's in downtown D.C., so a pretty rich clientele. It's kind of like a small boutique animal hospital in a richer part of town.
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xpdchief
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2019, 06:32:10 PM »

Since you already have the letter of offer, I see no reason not to ask them about forgoing the health insurance benefit for stipend.  They may not be able to increase your hourly wage because of personnel reasons, so a stipend might be the way to go. 

It can't hurt to ask.
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Brian
Frostburg
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2019, 08:50:38 PM »

Okay, here is a thought:

I am thinking that I should respond first, asking for $18.50 an hour based upon my credentials, and mentioning that I believe that based upon my experience, college degree, past work and volunteer exp. etc. I think I should get $18.50 vs. $17.50 an hour. Crossing my fingers that their initial offer is just a form of negotiation. If that fails, then I can respond by mentioning that they won't need to be burdened with providing me health insurance and that should help balance them out.

So it's a 2 step strategy. The first counter offer I make is merely an argument that I'm worth the extra dollar. If that fails, then go back with the detail about the health insurance.

Do you think that is a viable way to go? That way I don't put all my negotiating cards in a single bid.
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thehun
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2019, 08:53:13 PM »

I always counter... good move.

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Frostburg
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2019, 08:55:45 PM »

Do you think this 2 step negotiating strategy would work though? Or should I combine the two?
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thehun
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2019, 09:44:47 PM »

Well. Do you really need this job...or not...

If you believe you are worth it...go for it. But Id counter to $19.00..they will probably meet you at $18.50...if you go $18.50...they will probably meet you at $18.

I went $10k above what I wanted...at the end...receive $5k above my wanted target.
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Frostburg
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2019, 09:50:40 PM »

Well. Do you really need this job...or not...

If you believe you are worth it...go for it. But Id counter to $19.00..they will probably meet you at $18.50...if you go $18.50...they will probably meet you at $18.

I went $10k above what I wanted...at the end...receive $5k above my wanted target.

I would totally do that. The problem with that is when I filled out the application, it asked for my desired wage, and I wrote $18.50, because their writeup on Indeed.com stated that the position pays between $17.50 and $19.50, so I figured I would be reasonable and strike a middle ground early.

I feel like it would be kind of hard for me to go back and say I want $19.50 when I stated $18.50 on my application.
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kfeltenberger
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2019, 09:51:25 PM »

What is the position and how are you qualified for it?  Also, the coverage you have from outside the job; how certain is that over the long term?  

In the end, you only will know if you ask.  That said, don't negotiate yourself out of the position.
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Kurt
Frostburg
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2019, 09:52:10 PM »

Here is a draft of the email I am thinking about writing to him, as a counteroffer:

Let me know what you guys think.

Hello Mr. ****,

Thank you very much for the offer of employment! While I absolutely am excited about the opportunity to work at City Paws, I feel that given my education, research experience, volunteer experience, formal medical training, and also considering the cost of living in Washington, D.C., a wage of $18.50 more in line with my expectations. I sincerely hope we can come to an arrangement that is comfortable for both of us.

Thank you,
Adam ********
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kfeltenberger
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2019, 09:54:33 PM »

Well. Do you really need this job...or not...

If you believe you are worth it...go for it. But Id counter to $19.00..they will probably meet you at $18.50...if you go $18.50...they will probably meet you at $18.

I went $10k above what I wanted...at the end...receive $5k above my wanted target.

I would totally do that. The problem with that is when I filled out the application, it asked for my desired wage, and I wrote $18.50, because their writeup on Indeed.com stated that the position pays between $17.50 and $19.50, so I figured I would be reasonable and strike a middle ground early.

I feel like it would be kind of hard for me to go back and say I want $19.50 when I stated $18.50 on my application.

Is this a position that you are qualified for solely because of your degree?  If so, then bringing you in at the low end makes sense if you have minimal (less than a two years or so of experience).  However, if you have a lot of experience and a proven track record, then you might want to look at this as a sign of how they do business if they stand firm.  
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Kurt
Frostburg
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2019, 09:55:13 PM »

What is the position and how are you qualified for it?  Also, the coverage you have from outside the job; how certain is that over the long term?  

In the end, you only will know if you ask.  That said, don't negotiate yourself out of the position.

The position is for front desk receptionist/veterinary assistant (more front desk than anything else). I majored in psychology in college, with a heavy emphasis on animal behavior and conditioning. I was also a research assistant with my university's primate lab, where we did observational studies. I also volunteered as an EMT in college with the local fire dept. I also volunteered with a pet rescue during the summers. Just helping with the animals, and at their retail shop. I'm currently working as a cashier at REI, which isn't all that impressive, but we are trained to give really good customer service.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 09:58:33 PM by Frostburg » Logged
thehun
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2019, 10:04:14 PM »

Well. Do you really need this job...or not...

If you believe you are worth it...go for it. But Id counter to $19.00..they will probably meet you at $18.50...if you go $18.50...they will probably meet you at $18.

I went $10k above what I wanted...at the end...receive $5k above my wanted target.

I would totally do that. The problem with that is when I filled out the application, it asked for my desired wage, and I wrote $18.50, because their writeup on Indeed.com stated that the position pays between $17.50 and $19.50, so I figured I would be reasonable and strike a middle ground early.

I feel like it would be kind of hard for me to go back and say I want $19.50 when I stated $18.50 on my application.

Gotcha...I would hold firm on $18.50 and counter with that...more than likely will meet you in the middle at $18.00...
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Frostburg
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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2019, 10:07:23 PM »

How does my counteroffer email look? I did edit a typo since I posted it above. But I am anxious about sending a response soon since they emailed me early today, and I don't want to create a negative impression.
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Frostburg
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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2019, 10:09:44 PM »

Hello Mr. ****,

Thank you very much for the offer of employment! While I absolutely am excited about the opportunity to work at City Paws, I feel that given my education, research experience, volunteer experience, formal medical training, and also considering the cost of living here in Washington, D.C., a wage of $18.50 is more in line with my expectations. I sincerely hope we can come to an arrangement that is comfortable for both of us.

Thank you,
Adam ********
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thehun
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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2019, 10:48:11 PM »

Looks pretty good.
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Frostburg
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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2019, 06:18:53 PM »

Okay. So I sent the email around 5:30am this morning before leaving for work. I still havn't heard anything. Should I be getting worried?

So the current time line is as follows:

I had my interview this past Wednesday at 11:30am. It went super well, and they seemed super into me. I saw an email the next day (Thursday) around 11am giving me the job offer at $17.50 an hour. I spent the day anxious about how to respond. I drafted a response and sent it this morning at 5:30am. I sent the email exactly as written in my post above. It is now 6:17pm and I have not heard anything. Did I totally f*** this up?
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thehun
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2019, 06:24:15 PM »

It is Labor Day weekend...you probably wont hear back until next week.
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