do private associateships usually provide medical insurance?

texas_dds

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ive been an orthodontic associate for about a year in a private practice - and have had to seek out and pay (heftily) for my own medical insurance. (not to mention disability, malpractice, etc etc). as it was the only job of its kind in the area i wanted to live, and there were about 20 people wanting the spot, i felt like i did not have much room to negotiate benefits when i started the job. now, with the economy tanking, i'm just thankful to HAVE a job. anyways, i realize it is hard for small employers to provide insurance, but it seems kinda shameful. what is the norm out there?
 
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pietrodds

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'the norm' is to realize you're an ortho specialist and working for someone else sucks in most cases. As a specialist, there's just no major advantage to being an associate for more than a year or two unless they're paying to very well which is usually not the case.
 

charlestweed

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Most associate orthodontists work as independent contractors. So no, the employers are not obligated to provide the medical insurance. I have to buy my own health insurance. I currently pay $170/month (that's about the same as a cell phone bill for some people) for my Blue Cross PPO plan. For my whole family of 4, I pay about $550/month.
 
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gryffindor

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In round two of dental job hunting, this time as an orthodontist, I'm taking it as a given that no one will be offering me any benefits except a paycheck that hopefully pays more than I got as a GP a few years ago.The fact that 20 others wanted that job should be a clue that the owner has little incentive to offer you any benefits when the next person will work the job without any. Welcome to the world of griping about associateships.
 

DrJeff

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Total luck of the draw with this one. In my wife's practice(she's an ortho associate), her boss is generous enough to provide full medical, retirement, license/professional fees and C.E. stipends to her, as well as gave her a PAID maternity leave 3 years ago. Not the norm by far.

If you're practicing in an area where there is such a demand for ortho jobs as opposed to a demand for orthos, then the need to provide extra benefits to attract an ortho associate is much less. Likewise, if you decide to go out on your own in that similar area, you'll probably find it tougher to win over the GP referral base in the area since they're more than likely saturated already:idea:
 

texas_dds

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thanks for the replies folks
i actually have started my own practice outside of my competition radius
and once that takes off, the associateship will be a distant memory
what is a good way for a small employer (me) to provide health benefits for my staff one day?
 

charlestweed

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thanks for the replies folks
i actually have started my own practice outside of my competition radius
and once that takes off, the associateship will be a distant memory
what is a good way for a small employer (me) to provide health benefits for my staff one day?
You do the right thing by starting your own practice. I think it will be a while before you can quit your associate job. I believe my 3 year old practice has reached its maximum potential. I only have enough patients to keep me busy 2 days a week. To fill my 5 day/week schedule I still have to work as an associate somewhere else.

I recently purchased another existing practice from a 60 yo orthodontist (we'll close the escrow tomorrow…for tax write off:D). I am half nervous, half excited. Hopefully, this new practice will bring me enough patients so I can quit my associate job soon. Looks like I'll have to work 28-29 days/month again:eek:.

Currently, I don't provide medical insurance for my 2 FT and 6 PT employees. They've been very happy working for me b/c I pay them 2-3 dollars more an hour than the big corporate offices that provide medical insurance for their employees.
 

texas_dds

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congratulations on the new purchase
you practice in CA right?
 
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