Health insurance for plant people

sdrawkcab(7)February 14, 2007

I went to school for ornamental horticulture but after a few years at a retail nursery the money wasn't enough so i quit and now work elsewhere. (i sit in a little office and although working in the air conditioning from 8-5 is nice, i miss plants, my true love)

I would desperatly love to go back to working with plants but i am about to be married in august and although i could live without health insurance it is unfair to my future wife to make her do without. any advice on working in horticulture without leaving your family without insurance?

thanks,

backwards

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gardengal48

Yeah, find a place that offers proper benefits - they do exist. One of the several reasons I elected to work for a retail nursery in addition to running my own business as a designer was so I could get group health coverage at a somewhat reasonable cost, as opposed to the astronomical cost of self insurance. The coverage is not as elaborate as it was in the corporate arena I was previously in but it does the job.

Will your future wife be working? If so and if fulltime, chances are excellent she will have her own coverage and could cover you as well for an additional fee.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 10:53PM
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heptacodium

depends on the company.

I know two companies, one in Cottage grove, MN (wholesale nursery) and one in New Berlin, WI (landscape) that offer a better/more comprehensive benefits package than do most other employers, regardless of type of industry. Not only is the insurance at almost no cost to the employee (one of them just upped the employee cost to $20 a month, but other little things, like boot and uniform allowance, education, even housing assistance.

I happen to live in an area where one of the more commonly used health care plans is very affordable, and co-pays aren't bad at all. But it depends on the company.

Anymore, no matter what field you are in, it's gonna depend on the company.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 2:26PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

You don't really want to go without health insurance. You could end up in debt for the rest of your life!

Look around. The nursery chain where I used to work offered health insurance. The interior landscaping company where I work now also has health insurance, although our family uses my husband's coverage, which is better.

As far as the pay not being enough, that's kind of a problem with the industry, especially when you're younger.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 11:19PM
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perennialprincess(z4 MN)

hey heptacodium! I work for that Cottage Grove MN nursery and you are right, the healthcare benefits are excellent, plus we have dental benefits, PTO, pension plan etc. They are very proud of the benefits they offer, and should be - they are probably some of the best in the industry.

Here in MN, our state nursery trade association offers group health benefits to members - I believe you have to have at least two people working in your company to be eligible - but, it at least opens the doors to health benefits for so many companies that are very small, and that is the majority of nurseries/landscaping/garden center businesses these days. But, there are large nurseries across this country, and I'll bet most of them have health insurance benefits.

It is a matter of hunting down that good job with benefits. sdrawkcab - especially if you are willing to relocate, and have good horticultural skills, you should be able to land a job with a good company. Hopefully your bride to be is in a position to possibly relocate?!?
Good luck to you. Working in horticulture doesn't make one rich in cash, but rich in many other ways, best of which is working with plants! PP

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 7:39PM
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sdrawkcab(7)

thanks all for the advice. i think i'm going to stick it out in the "cubicle jungle" for a few more years until my fiance' finishes her college degree(s) and decides what she wants to be when she grows up :)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 1:31PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

Good luck with that. I was 40ish before I finally figured it out. I hope your fiance is brighter than I am!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 7:47AM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

The interesting thing is that none of our pros have chimed in to tell what health insurance they offer their workers.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 11:07PM
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