Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Big vs. not big

Did I catch your attention with that title?  Did you think this post would be porn or borderline porn?  Sorry to disappoint, maybe next time, though.

MG works for a huge company with about 135,000 employees throughout the world.  When I was a Human Resources Manager, I worked for a small company, with about 100 employees.  I had one assistant, not a multitude of assistants.  If I wanted something done, had a question, suggestion or complaint, I went right to the source.  Since I reported directly to the CEO and President, I could walk right into their offices to get something taken care of.  If I had a question regarding an employees' paperwork, I went right to the employee - either by phone or in person.  It's not that way at X&Y, where my hubs works.

We take full advantage of the medical flexible spending.  You know, where you put money aside pre-tax to use to get reimbursed for medical expenses.  With three boys, one set of braces and another set to come in the future, two people wearing glasses and the usual maladies that hit our family, we save quite a bit of tax $$ doing this.  And who doesn't like to keep their tax $$ from going to the government?  That's what I thought.

In the last few months, we have turned in A LOT of bills to be reimbursed for.  Some were big ones and some we had just held on to until we had enough to send in.  Some were from this year and some were from last year and it seems that is where the confusion lies.  For the last couple of months, when the check comes, it's messed up.  Can he just walk to the HR department and say, "hey, you fucked up again"?  Noooooo.  He has to call the employee service center.  In Costa Rica.  Where you get a different person every time.  It's as bad as calling  for some kind of technical service.  You get the run-around, you get a variety of answers and it might all be in broken English.

I understand the need for this type of service center.  135,000+ employees are a lot to service.  It just makes it really difficult on this end to get things straightened out.  I don't know how many people are in payroll, where they process the reimbursement forms to reimburse on the paycheck, but when something looks funny or you don't understand, they don't call to see what the issue is.  They sure as hell can't walk out to the employees desk to ask "What's up with this?"  They just do something, and it appears it's ususally wrong.

On the flip side, working for a company this size comes with other great benefits, which I am so thankful for because they are wonderful!  I just hope we don't ever have a question about any of them.


  1. That is great that you guys choose to take advantage of one of the very few vehicles available to save money on taxes placed on every hard earned dollar.
    BTW, not sure if your Hubs’ HR dept has sent out the message that after 12/31/10 over the counter drugs will no longer be a qualified FSA item. Shucks. Every time I bought a Band-Aid or Advil or thermometer I saved that receipt. Instead you have to get a doctor’s Rx to qualify as an FSA item for these OTC items (which of course will cost you guys and your employer more money).
    Also, not sure what the FSA annual max dollar amount is that your Hubs’ employer allows, but starting 1/1/14 the family total allowed is $2,500. Many employers allowed higher amounts than this so this is a benefit reduction.
    These were a couple of items included in the March 2010 passages of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Tax Credit Reconciliation Act of 2010 (the “Reconciliation Bill”), otherwise known as Health Care Reform signed by the President.

  2. Oh how I hear you.

    Can't wait to see how much better the government is going to do it :-)

  3. Oooops I have a date wrong in my above comment. It should read But starting 1/1/13 the family total allowed is $2,500.
    If you can't get the FSA reimbursements straightened out by complaining to the HR person about the call center, can you get the name of the broker? You are right that a benefit of group insurance is having an HR person or dept. All those people who will be signing up for individual insurance will be on their own (like those individuals who have own insurance) to navigate.