Teleworking & Dependent Care: The Downside

Everybody supports the plan to expand federal teleworking opportunities and raise the age for dependent care coverage under the federal health plan, right? Seni...

Teleworking and dependent health care are important, hot-button items to lots of feds.

Teleworking would give many a better quality work life, while raising the age for dependent health care would help many financially-strapped families (especially single parents) make ends meet.

Congress is considering legislation that would push agencies to expand teleworking opportunities. It is also looking at a bill that would raise the age for dependent health insurance coverage to age 26

Lots of interest in and support for both proposals.


Believe it or not, not everybody thinks teleworking is a good idea. And a surprising number of people don’t see the need to extend federal family health care coverage to dependent children past the age of 22.

If you are a big supporter of expanding teleworking and extending the age for dependent care coverage you may be surprised and disappointed to learn that not everybody is on board. And it may be important (or at least educational) to know what some folks – maybe some of the people in your officer or carpool – think about what, to you, is a no-brainer hot-button issue.

For example, on raising the age for dependent coverage:

  • “Gee, Mike, why stop at 26? The way so many ‘kids’ have been raised, they still are dependent – if not only emotionally – on their parents well into their 30’s. Let’s make it 30 or 40! Used to be, you were out of the house and on your own at 18, either by going to college/trade school, work, or the military. I know my folks were eager to see our backsides hit by the screen door, and we knew that the folks were there to help us in emergencies, but that was it.

    “Isn’t being kicked out of the nest mean all about learning to survive in the cruel world?” Retired Fed

  • “No one could object to providing FEHBP coverage to a truly dependent, as in disabled or mentally-challenged, dependent indefinitely. But this idea of raising it to age 26 for able-bodied ‘kids’ sounds like a bad Saturday Night Live skit. I mean are these ‘children’ really hard up, unable to get a job or unwilling to to pay for a ‘gap’ policy or, God forbid, get a job? I mean how long are we, as a society and FEHBP policy-holders going to subsidize ‘kids’ and their parents while they ‘find’ themselves, or find a career that offers them fulfillment, challenges, and constant reassurance that they are doing a good job?” Worked My Way Through College
  • “It looks like I need dependent health care for one of my children and her family through age 50 and beyond. Any chance of that?

    “When are we going to wake up and realize everyone needs and should be entitled to basic medical assistance? I know the answer to that question.

    “Are only the rich or people lucky enough to have group health insurance entitled to extend the clock of time on how long they get to breathe air on this earth? Doug In Denver

And the downsides of teleworking:

  • “It has been my experience (27 years a fed) that many people who are teleworking are scamming their agency and the general public. Their work life is built around their kids’ school schedules, and other activities that people once took care of before or after work and on their own time. Of course teleworking has its place, but the emphasis should be on things like continuation-of-government-operations and service to the agency and the public, rather than providing another perk to employees.” IRS Old-Timer
  • “A number of people in my office telework regularly. I would say that all of them qualify for the title of teachers pet. In this case meaning favorites of the boss. The ironic thing is that most of the promotions go to people who NEVER telework but who have a proven track record of getting the job done. They simply work while their teleworking counterparts are constantly e-mailing or calling the supervisor for instructions, an excuse why they can’t meet a deadline or for stroking which most of them seem to need all the time.” J.K.

To reach me:

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