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maaser on employee health benefits (USA)


K’vod haRav, in the US it is common for the employer to pay most of the cost of health insurance (e.g. if the insurance costs $24000/year, the employee pays $8000 and the employer pays $16000). The employee never receives that $16000; it goes directly to the health insurance company. Does the employee have to take maaser on that $16000? Thank you.


There are different opinions about this, however the minhag is that one does not have to give maser from benefits that were given to him that weren’t in the form of money.



See B’orach Tzedakah 10-10 ftnt. 16, Answer from R’ S. Z. 37 ( at end of B’orach Tzedakah), Kol Hatorah 39 pg. 92(5),  Tzedakah Umishpat 5 ftnt 32.

R’ Nisson Karelitz shlit”a holds that since you didn’t actually receive the money, you don’t have to take maaser from it. However R’ S. Z. Auerbach, and R’ Y. Blau zt”l held that one should take maaser from it, because he would have paid this money on his own. Note, this is only if he would have paid for medical insurance regardless of the benefits, however if he wouldn’t have taken out medical insurance if he would have to pay for it, then everyone agrees that he doesn’t have to take maaser from it.

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