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There are a few common benefits questions that might be brought to a bilingual supervisor, rather than to HR or the broker.  An employee might simply ask if the supervisor thinks it’s a good idea to cough up the money for the premium for medical insurance.  In a worst-case scenario, supervisors will simply say no.  They might also be swayed by the political hype of the moment, in which case God only knows what they’ll come up with!  Rarely are they able to clarify the risks of being without health insurance in this country.

Another common question that arises is which doctor to go to.  Often, a supervisor will direct employees to a community health center or clinic—even when that employee has enrolled in the medical plan offered, and even if this clinic is not in the network of providers.  This can be particularly problematic, as employees who have enrolled in their health plan will expect to receive benefits at this clinic.  When that does not happen, their assumption that benefits are probably a scam (see Light Bulb Moment #3) is reinforced, and they will probably share this impression with co-workers.  Bad news travels fast!  And when it travels in a language you don’t speak in an area where you don’t work, it is tough to head off.

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