5 Things All Employees Need to Understand About Benefits

Keeping track of what your company’s employee benefits cover and how they can work for you can be a challenge, but it is vitally important. Your employer provides benefits as part of your compensation, and if you’re not taking advantage of them, you can miss out on some important savings and coverage. Here are five things all employees need to understand about their benefits. 1. Your Health Insurance Costs You need to understand what your health insurance costs are, including how much of the premium you pay each month, any co-pay and the annual deductible, says PJ Wallin, CPA and CFP at W Financial. “Employees should know what their benefit options are, as well as for their family and who pays the costs for each. Many employers may cover a larger portion of an individual, but then subsidize less of their family.” If your employer offers a choice of different …

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How to Re-Evaluate Your Benefits Elections When Welcoming a New Baby

If you’re preparing to add a new member to your family, congratulations! You’re in for years of laughter and love with your new son or daughter. You’re also in for some worry about his or her health and safety — and one of the best ways to alleviate those concerns is with smart employee benefits choices. Adding someone to your family is often seen as a “qualifying life event,” which is the term used to define events that may require changes to your health coverage and other benefits. Employees who have qualifying events are allowed to make changes to their coverage choices without having to wait for their employer’s open enrollment period. Making sure your child has health insurance and your family’s financial security is protected will take some of the worries away. So how can you do that? Re-examine your benefits now. Add Your New Son or Daughter to …

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How to Read Your Health Insurance Explanation of Benefits Statement

People generally know less than they think they do when it comes to understanding their health benefits — which can lead to problems down the road. According to the American Institutes for Research, 3 out of 4 people said they felt confident that they knew how to use their health insurance. But only 1 out of 5 could accurately calculate their out-of-pocket costs. This lack of knowledge can hurt when the explanation of benefits (EOB) shows up in the mail. The EOB is a form that identifies the treatment or services you were provided and what amount your insurance will pay, says Erin Singleton, chief of mission delivery at the Patient Advocate Foundation, a nonprofit that provides professional case management services to people with chronic, life-threatening and debilitating illnesses. The EOB often says “This is not a bill” in large letters, and then has a chart or balance sheet detailing …

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How to Determine Which Voluntary Benefits to Offer

You know voluntary benefits can help boost employee satisfaction, but where should you start? Ensuring you offer the right kind of voluntary benefits will help you get the most out of the entire benefits package. These tips will put you on the path to offering voluntary benefits your employees will take advantage of — and value. Identify Gaps One of the main purposes of voluntary benefits is to provide coverage where core benefits fall short. This is seen most often in health benefits, with voluntary benefits covering costs that core benefits don’t or adding onto coverage. If you look into voluntary health benefits, ensure they fill gaps, says Darren Ambler, managing director at Insight Insurance Agency. “It is very important that employers offer voluntary benefits that complement existing programs so that no overlap occurs.” Duplication can result in offsetting benefits as opposed to enhancing them. Work With Your Vendor Your …

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