Employee Benefits – Health & Welfare

Evaluate and identify employee benefits.

Employee Benefits – Health & Welfare

Healthcare and welfare benefits are important parts of a job offer. Be sure to evaluate the entire benefits package, as it can account for up to 30% of your total compensation.

  • A variety of health and welfare benefits offered in employee benefits packages
  • Why you should evaluate these offers and when to use them

Breaking it down!

Your employer will likely provide several tiers of options for health, or medical insurance, all with different premiums and deductibles. You are responsible for paying the premium, the deductible, and whatever coinsurance remains after your expenses meet the deductible, up to a yearly out of pocket maximum. To help you understand what these terms mean, we went to healthcare.gov:

The amount you pay for your health insurance every month. When selecting a plan, keep in mind that the plan with the lowest monthly premium may not be the best match for you. If you need much health care, a plan with a slightly higher premium but a lower deductible may save you a lot.

The amount you pay for covered health care services before your insurance plan starts to pay. With a $2,000 deductible, for example, you pay the first $2,000 of covered services yourself.

After you pay your deductible, you usually pay only a copayment or coinsurance for covered services. Your insurance company pays the rest. For example, if you are responsible for 20% coinsurance and you receive a $100 bill after you’ve met your deductible, you will be responsible for paying $20 and they’ll pay $80.

There will be a yearly threshold that maxes out the amount you can possibly pay for healthcare that year, after your deductible and any co-insurance you owe.

Evaluating medical plans will be challenging, and will require you to consider your healthcare needs. It will also require you to do some math and consider your comfort with risk. Most employers will have multiple options for plans so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

Further Considerations

Many employers also offer dental insurance, as dental care is not covered by regular medical insurance. You will pay a monthly premium, and have a deductible, just like with the medical insurance, but those should be lower. Teeth are important and dental care can get expensive, so pay attention to the plans and rates of coverage!

Vision insurance specifically covers your eye care needs, and is similar to dental insurance. However, depending on your eyecare needs, you may not need to use the vision insurance as often as dental. You should make sure that a regular eye checkup wouldn’t be covered by your medical insurance, as well!

Sometimes Flexible or Health Savings Accounts will be offered alongside your medical benefits packages. If you enroll in one of these accounts, you are usually allowed to put money in it that is taken out of your paycheck pre-tax (so it’s not as much of a hit to your wallet!) to pay for your healthcare costs (prescriptions, doctor appointments, etc.). It’s sort of like a checking account, but just for healthcare related expenses.

Each type of account is different, and you can evaluate which one is right for your needs. You should also check if your employer will make any contributions to the FSA or HSA on your behalf – that’s extra money!

Should you need to take an extended time away from work due to an injury or surgery, your employer’s short/long term disability insurance will cover your wages (at full or partial rates) for all or part of the time you need off. You may need to pay a small monthly premium for this insurance.

  • Consult with those who may be more familiar with employee benefits;
    • Family, mentors, HR representatives
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the HR representative for further clarification