Nanny's Job not Benefiting from Insurance

Hi, I have a question and would like some insight from other nannie's and families who employ them. I am 25 years old and have been working as a Nanny for the last 7 years. For those years, I was covered under my parent's insurance. Not sure if this stuff is the same in all states, but here in NJ, under certain insurance plans, a parent can only cover a child until they are 26. Unfortunately, one of those plans is the one I am on. So next year, when I am 26, I am no longer able to be covered by my parents. Private insurance rates have sky-rocketed, and I will definitely not be able to afford it. None of the families I have worked for have ever offered insurance.

My question is, what do other nannies do? Really only looking for nannie's who are in the same boat as me- single, and not able to be covered by their parents. And to the families who employ nannies, are you open to offering insurance coverage? If so, how is that done? I am starting my search for a new nanny position, and I am hoping to find a family who can provide these benefits, but from what i've seen in my area, most do not. Unfortunately this might be a deal breaker for me because I cannot go without insurance. I love being a Nanny but I'm concerned that i'm going to have to change my profession because of this issue. Any advice is appreciated! - Anonymous


I need a break said...

I understand where your coming from. I have always paid for my own health ins. It is now up to $350 month, very expensive since my new job pays about $8,000 less than my previous job. I think it will be difficult to find a family willing to provide insurance. Maybe they can offer to pay half . I would also check with several providers and see who has the lowest rates. Good luck I know it can be daunting.

Joanna said...

I have private insurance at $210 a month. My employers give me $1000 at the beginning of the year as a stipend to help pay for it.

MissMannah said...

Now I am on my husband's insurance, but before I was married, I just went without. In fact, me getting insurance was a major factor in us deciding to get married. (Not that I'm suggesting you go find a husband just for that reason!) Assuming the Affordable Health Care Act stays the way it is, you will be required to get private insurance in 2014 or be penalized on your taxes. The government will be offering subsidies for those (like you) who can't really afford it. So if you can get your employers to subsidize it too, you may be able to get it totally covered. Also, if this is not an option, you might qualify for Medicaid. I'd say look up some of those income requirements. Not sure how NJ does it, but my state has a supplemental Medicaid and prescription discount program. Hopefully, you'll find something that fits your needs.

missmary said...

Yup, another "got hitched for insurance" here.
I haven't had insurance, ever, but after a series of unfortunate events it became clear that I desperately needed insurance. My girlfriend romantically said "Let's go sign some shit and get you on my insurance. You knw, civil shit".
And so it was. Went to city hall the next day and got unionized. It was a glorious time having insurance, but now she's in grad school and I'm uninsured once again. 2014 can't come soon enough!

Nashville Nanny said...

I have private insurance for both my husband and I (we pay $370/month total) and my employer pays $200 a month into our insurance. So I only really wind up paying for his. A lot of agencies are able to help you land a job with a more affluent family that can negotiate insurance into your contract. Try Nannies Of New York or the Calendar Girls.

Alex said...

When I turned 26 I found my own for $127 a month or something like it. I had the plan where I had a pretty high deductible and had to pay everything up to it (I think it was $3500, but may have been $5000). It did cover a yearly physical though. I would look into doing the high deductible ones as that is what both my sister and I did once we were kicked off our parents at 26. It sucked if you had to go to the doctor (I started getting really sick towards the end of it but by that time I had a different job and was waiting for health care to kick in) but walk in clinics were pretty affordable and if something really bad happened I was covered.

A good option is to find a family that has their own company (if you can even search for something like that) but then you could possibly be on their company insurance.

nolongernanny said...

And this is the exact reason I left nannying to work in a daycare center. I make the same money, but now I have insurance and a 401K.

NannyB said...

My employers own their company. They may be willing to work something out with me if I was in a position similar to yours. However, they would not just offer it or suggest it. I love them, but they are penny pinchers. They would of course give it to me out of necessity, but they'd also try pulling something like taking half the cost out of my paycheck!
I am on my dads company's insurance policy. Not his, because I'm also 26, but his company.
Sorry you're in this stressful situation!! It's a tough economy out there!

Teach instead said...

Find a good preschool or daycare insead and you'll get health insurance, paid holidays, and vacation time. You can always go back to nannying if you can afford to pay your own insurance. By teaching you will gain more experience and wisdom and some co-teacher friendships too, it will be easy to return to nannying.

Bethany said...

I get mine through my state. It's a pain.

I haven't been fortunate enough to work for a family that covers health insurance.

Would be an absolute dream if that were ever to happen.

I don't know what you can afford, but some of the larger companies offer descent packages for $200 or less a month.

Good luck. figuring out insurance is my least favorite part of being a nanny.

OP said...

OP here-
Just curious where some of you are from. The ones who talk about having private insurance for $150-$350/month.. where do you live? I have been looking at different plans recently, even though I have about a year to go- but the ones I see are well above $600 per month. And that doesn't even include dental or vision. The less expensive ones (still very expensive) don't even offer coverage for prescriptions, or office visits.

I would love to find a family that can either help with the cost, or provide me with insurance, but it's definitely a needle in a haystack here. Although I live in an upscale part of NJ, and the families are very generous with benefits, 95% do not include health insurance. I will take the advice to look through an agency.

Also- working in a day care setting is definitely not the same as being a Nanny. I've been fortunate enough to find families who pay very well, with my average salary being around $18/hour take home. Day cares offer no where near that, at least not around here. While there are other perks as some of you mentioned, money is definitely a big factor, being that NJ is one of the more costly living states.

I appreciate all of your advice. Thanks again and if anyone else has their 2 cents, please share :)

An arm and a leg said...

I posted that I pay $350 a month. I have a very high deductible and basic insurance. I don't have vision or dental. I do have prescription drugs and $30 office visits(2 per year). I live in Illinois.

Sadie said...

I am in the same boat OP. I turn 26 in May and have a pre-existing condition and cannot buy insurance privately. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act I will qualify for CA's Major Risk Medical Insurance but it is $360/month, no vision or dental. My employers are going to pay $200/month. I am still leaving nannying for work in a preschool as soon as I finish my ECE classes (though like you, I am educated and my take home is around $40k/year). I will probably not make the same working in a preschool but will not have to worry about job security and will be able to give my fiancé insurance as well through me.

Sadie said...

A nanny friend I know was paying over $500/month for insurance (the kind where you can actually go to the doctor!). I am lucky that even though the high risk medical insurance is expensive it is good insurance with a relatively low deductible ($500) and $20 copay. It also includes full maternity, which is important because I want to have a baby in a few years.

ericsmom said...

OP what town are you in? I live in Bergen County, NJ. It is so expensive just to live here. When I nannied in the past I never was offered health coverage. Even when I worked for doctors and lawyers. Oh well. You should really try being a teachers assistant in a public school. Maybe they offer health coverage. Depends on the town.

Nashville Nanny said...

I live in TN but am originally from NJ (ocean county). I have private insurance through Golden Rule (the choice plus plan). I pay $370 a month for my husband and I. Call them directly for a quote or find a local insurance agent that has numerous companies in their roster to help you.

I think an agency is definitely the way to go to find the type of family that will pay health insurance. The two that I gave you cater to affluent families in NY, NJ and CT.

nycmom said...

Most states offer some version of subsidized plans for individuals, small groups, freelancers, and those just above Medicaid limit. In NYS, it is HealthyNY. A quick search of NJ suggests there are many options, depending on your needs, including a huge range of costs and services. This is a good starting point:


And a good rate table for the Individual Programs beyond the very basic ones:


Certainly the options in the $300-500 monthly price range are limited, but if you are generally healthy, it may be worth having a high deductible plan and utilizing sliding scale fee clinics for routine visits, and pharmacy subsidy programs for assistance with medications. It is all a lot of paperwork, but worth it if you take high cost meds.

A final excellent summary of NJ options:

OP said...

OP here

Thanks again everyone. I definitely have a lot of research to do. I am pretty healthy, I normally only see the doctor for routine check ups, although I ended up at the ER a few weeks ago for what I now know was a migraine. So things like that are what makes me nervous. I am not on any daily medications and I believe in treating things holistically, but then there's those times where you feel like your brain is hemorrhaging, and you go to the ER. If I don't have a good insurance, I'd be paying for that for the rest of my life.

NYCmom thank you for all the helpful websites. I am going to look over them the next couple days.

ericsmom, same here. The last family I worked for were in finance, and a lawyer, but still didn't offer any type of help or coverage. Also- I worked in Morris county. I grew up down at the shore, but like to be more up north, because it pays more. I had to move back down after leaving my last position because there was no way I could afford to live on my own up there!

Nashville Nanny- what a small world. I am from Ocean County too. I am going to take a look at the agencies you listed.

Thanks again for all your help everyone.

MissMannah said...

Honey, if you're getting migraines the best advice I can give you is to get on medication. I've had some awful ones in the past and it was getting to the point where I was having them 2x a week. I went on daily preventative medications and it helped immensely. When I would get a headache (rarely) it would only be a slight pounding and I could usually sleep it off. But in the past couple of months I've gone off all my meds because we're trying to get pregnant and the migraine one has been proven to cause birth defects. So that sucks but I haven't had a migraine since being off them and fingers crossed I won't!

N is for Nanny said...

My employers pay the full cost of my health insurance, up to $600/month. I picked my own plan through BCBS and they pay my monthly premium. I looked at some lower-priced plans, but ended up selecting one that is around $425/month. I know that this is not a common benefit, particularly not to the extent my employers provide it - it's an example of their values in action.

I have had other employers who did not cover my health insurance. In those cases, I paid my monthly premium out of my own pocket, albeit for a slightly less-expensive plan, also through BCBS. I've been really happy with my health insurance and have definitely used it. I contacted an insurance agent when I took out my first health insurance policy. It was super easy. The information for most providers is also available online. 26 was 5-10 years ago for me (I'd rather not post my exact age online) and I've never been a NJ resident, but I think I was probably paying around $200/month when I was your age - pretty high deductible, minimal coverage until I hit the deductible. Glad you are thinking about this now, because I've definitely crushed my annual deductible on more than one occasion...

If you are paying taxes, you could talk to your employer about reducing your pay and providing you with health insurance, as you would be able to avoid paying taxes on the money for your premium. If you do that, I would definitely put something in writing, but worth considering if it's relevant.