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Moving fast as sludge
Holy Bureaucracy Batman!

So, I and a co-worker attempted to so something simple - migrate our desktops to laptops, so that we have access to information and are able to present in meetings, which is important because I spend 2-4 hours per day in meetings.

We have a process here for requesting laptops - it is simple enough, fill out the online form, put in free-hand text of what software you need, and press submit. And email is sent to the laptop people and one to your boss for approval. Wow, cool, no big deal.

It could not possibly be that simple. It is not. The laptops come with WiFi. We have WiFi available throughout the buildings. It is another form to get your laptop on the wireless network. It is another form, oh, wait, not actually a form - an email you have to send to one (1) person to request a docking station (what a fantastic process for a $50 billion company), then she decides if you get one. We have custom software that we use to do our jobs. It is not approved, and has not been since we have always had local admin rights (we are Technology, we are all Sr-System Engineers and above) so it has not been a problem. Now it is. We have to have another group that has not been around as long as us, nor as long as we have been using said software, approve it now, so someone can install it on our new machines. So, that is 4 separate requests that go for separate ways to get one simple thing done.

On top of that, since we are changing our insurance from something that works (BCBS) to the evil empire (UHC), all new cards are to be received, and they have the new fuck-you-in-the-ass-without-lube program called HRA's, which basically shift the initial cost to you and only cost UHC (henceforth known as those cum-guzzling-gutter-sluts) is administrative until you spend over $X, then it goes to the normal 80/20 type of thing (oh, but you get your 1 free checkup each year - it is probably government mandated, and if so then our legistlature is probably busy at work attempting to remove that pesky rule, "for the good of the people", but I am not bitter). Then they have the fucking audacity to say, your health is important. Fuckers. Fucking CGGS's. Now, with BCBS, we have this great fitness thing - go to the gym 8 times, get $20 towards your membership dues, all handled through the club and BCBS, you never see anything. The CGGS's don't like this program, as it requires something from them, like work. So, now, we have a form to fill out monthly and it is only valid at their list of clubs, which you cannot see until you have your card and register on their website and they will go above and beyond and grandfather all of us current users in. Gee, thanks.

Did I say I was not bitter? I lied.

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We're moving towards health savings accounts here and that REALLY concerns me. No one can seem to explain to me how to accurately set it up for pre-tax deductions. Nope, not liking this at all.

HSA differ from HRA's in two distinct ways:
1) Employers do not contribute to HSA's as they do with HRA's
2) HSA's are portable - as in you can take you money with you between companies (assuming your new employer has an HSA program). Think of an HSA like an IRA.

HRA's (I am not sure about HSA's here - it take a bureaucrat from CGGS to explain the difference) allow you to use your pre-tax flex medical account to pay your initial fees before the 80/20 goes into effect.

Ah, that would explain it. I just wish I didn't feel like I had to scramble to become educated on this issues. Jeez, I have to be a financial planner and a health benefits administrator to get through my professional life. Cripes!

No, just trust them, they will do what is best for you. They know better. Trust them.

Sorry, I must have been channeling UHC CEO there. I am sure a US$37Billion company with Profit of $3.5Billion is primarily concerned with your well being.

Fortunately, I have Medica, but how much better is that REALLY?

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