Question: My current employer had enrolled me for a medical plan that is due to expire in 2 days. I start at my new employment end of this month. According to contract with new employer(the bank) that I have already signed, I will be on probation for first 3 months. Also according to that contract the medical benefits are available only after probation period. I am a family man with two small kids – 3 and 1. As you can imagine there is no way I can consider staying in Hong Kong without medical insurance for technically 3.5 months.
- Continue my current insurance by extending it for another year(as its a annual policy). The current insurance is quite expensive I must say.
- Explore another cheaper insurance.
- Negotiate with my new employer to reduce or waive off my probation period so that I am insured as soon as I join the new company. This language is already in the contract(Your first three months’ service will be of a probationary nature. The Company may, however, waive, reduce or extend the probation period at its discretion.)
- Do I have any negotiation power left considering I already signed the contract and resigned from current employer.
- I have not had enough chance to build strong enough relationship on which I could make a stronger case.
- I don’t want to be viewed negatively in any way at this sensitive stage with new employer.
I brought up the situation to the new company HR in the past not being as specific as I am in this note and also I have not yet pointed out the option of waive off of probationary period. He said, he will revert but has not yet reverted so I need to speak with him on Monday to negotiate some situation.
Ameesh, here is my advice. Based on your email, I assumed you didn’t realize this until after you signed the contract with the new company. Your best bet is to pursue option 2 and 3 at the same time. Research cheaper insurance as a back up and talk to your new employer and see if they can start it as soon as you start.
I would approach it humbly and appeal to their human side. Admit you should have read the contract more carefully and hope they can help since you are now in a difficult situation and you want to protect your family. Not sure how they will respond, but this is your best bet. Companies do want to make their employees happy in general especially when they first join.
Now realize you don’t have leverage since you signed the contract first, so don’t blame them if they don’t agree. Just do you best to be humble and ask for what you need.
Even if they say yes, you still have a gap of health insurance between now and end of March. It’s unlikely for them to start you any sooner than your first day of work. so you should also explore option 2 for the gap. Assuming your wife and kids are pretty healthy, you can potentially gamble with a high deduction plan at a reasonable rate. This is obviously up to you and your situation. If option 3 does not work out, you have to decide how much risk you can take with a cheaper insurance vs how much you can spend to cover your family adequately.
Hope that helps.