As a W2 employee, I will get $4,500/mo plus benefits. One of the benefits is that they will pay half the healthcare plan that I select from the options available. In my case, it's about $400, so I pay $200 monthly.

The problem is that at the country where I work, that healthcare plan is not accepted. Not only that, but the best local healthcare plan is about half the cost of the plan that they're offering me. Unfortunately, I would need to pay my healthcare because it's not an option from my employer.

My question is: if I decide not to accept the medical plan that they offer me for the reasons above, will I be able to negotiate my salary based on having to pay for my own plan?

In other words, since the company would not pay my healthcare ($200), does that mean I can renegotiate my salary? Or isn't that how it works?

I guess my thinking is that every employee has a max dollar amount that the employer can offer him/her. Let's say that in my case, the top amount is $5,000/mo (4,500 + the standard benefits package of $500 ) and when I asked for 4,600, they refused because it would go over the $5,000.

Since the benefits package is now $300 ($500-$200 of healthcare that they won't have to pay), then my total is 4,800 which is less than the $5,000 max amount. In other words, if it remains like it is, the employer would save $200?

1 Answer 1


That's more likely to work for a small employer. It's less likely to work for a large employer. Large employers are generally more rule-bound and if you're asking for something unusual like getting additional salary instead of employer health insurance, they're going to have a harder time dealing with it. Large employers also generally aren't going to be thinking of a "max dollar amount per employee" because generally they're going to be paying more for the health insurance of employees with spouses and families vs single employees but they're not going to offer more salary to the singletons. The money for salaries generally comes from a completely different pot than the money for benefits.

You say "the country where I work" which implies that your employer would be located in a different country than you are. If the employer hires a lot of international employees, particularly if they're hiring a lot of people in your country, they may be accustomed to dealing with the fact that their health insurance isn't very useful in a foreign country. That may make them more amenable to some sort of agreement.

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