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The Difference Between Incompetent And Grossly Incompetent

November 18, 2014

You have 65 plans from which to choose.

Based on the information you provided your options are:
– Buy healthcare for yourself, your spouse and your children from your work
– Buy healthcare for yourself and your spouse from work and your children from the Exchange marketplace
– Buy healthcare for yourself from work, for your spouse from the marketplace, and for your children from the Exchange marketplace
– Buy healthcare for yourself from work, for your spouse from either work or the marketplace and have your children covered by CHIP
– Don’t buy insurance and pay a penalty. . .and a lot of $$ in doctor bills

You may qualify for a subsidy.

Your spouse may qualify for a subsidy.

Your children may qualify for a subsidy.

You may not qualify for a subsidy.

You have until November 21 to make a choice.

If you choose wrong, you are stuck with your choice until December 2015.


It’s open enrollment time at work. I’m a project manager. I’m used to making tradeoffs, at looking at a series of options and choosing one for my project and my team.

I have no clue how to buy healthcare. My work has three options. Only one of them meets the ACA guidelines.

So, if I select one of the other plans I have to pay a penalty?


It shouldn’t be this hard. . .It shouldn’t be this expensive.

While working for a startup called Agile Studios in Orem, UT, we decided to offer our employees healthcare. Marcus was the VP of HR. I’m not sure why we had a VP of HR when we only had a dozen employees, but I didn’t hand out the titles.

Marcus wasn’t particularly good at his job. But, he was tasked with finding us a healthcare option that our meager budget could afford. In the meantime our crew of programmers went about their day writing and testing code. I went about my day working with clients. We all were engaged and busy. Finally, Marcus announces that we have selected a health insurance company.

The coverage isn’t great, but it’s better than nothing. And the best part, we could afford to pay for the entire premium without asking employees to give up part of their check.

Everyone was happy to sign up. Everyone that is except Dave (

I’ll pass. My wife has good insurance and I really don’t want the hassle of two insurance plans.

You can’t pass.

Why not?

Everyone has to sign up. It’s a requirement that all employees sign up for the health insurance plan.

Oh. I didn’t realize that. In that case, I quit.

And he did. He didn’t actually leave, but he switched from a W2, or a fulltime employee to a 1099 or contractor.

But, it made me think. The one job the VP of HR has is finding and hiring good employees. He was incompetent at that. But there’s a difference between incompetent and grossly incompetent.

If you are bad at your job, you are incompetent. If you are so bad at your job that you accomplish the opposite of your goals, then you are grossly incompetent. His benefit package made people quit rather than accept it. That’s gross incompetence.

Now I have to get back to studying to become an expert on the Affordable Care Act and health insurance.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild.

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