Are you getting the most out of your company benefit plan?
If you're lucky to have a decent benefit plan at work, you probably value your health coverage. But are you getting everything you can out of the plan you have?
Corporate health plans increasingly have features that are tied to a 12-month cycle, including annual deductibles, preventive checkups and, in some instance, health-spending accounts.
Employees who don't pay attention to the calendar risk wasting fully covered benefits and paying more than they have to for procedures delayed until the following year.
For example, a dental plan may limit expenses in a calendar year while a vision plan bases its cap on a moving 24-month window.
If your plan benefits do roll over in January, one thing you might want to check is that you aren't missing out on important counselling services or potential stress-relieving perks like massage treatments or physiotherapy.
Of course, all this assumes full time employment. If you're a contract worker or part-time employee, you may have little or no coverage. Otherwise though, you're usually lookinmg at a 'use it ot lose it' proposition.
There are other things to watch out for as well, warns benefits consultant Bill Zolis -- like eligibility windows. For instance, an employee’s spouse may not be covered until the couple has shared a permanent residence and a common mailing address.
For older families, remember that unmarried children may see benefits come to an end once they turn 22, although full-time students in the family will see the support continue until they turn 25. The exception to the rule will include disabled children who are still considered dependents.
Do you try to maximize your workplace benfits? Have you lost out on benefits you were otherwise entitled to?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: raymeus | Oct 23, 2021 2:33:50 PM
insurance companies sure have it figured out . We have a dental plan but cant afford to put the money out and wait to be reimbursed . Why dont they just pay the percentage and we pay the rest.
Posted by: DGR | Oct 24, 2021 9:26:38 AM
Oh to be a Public Servant....good wages and benefits that are Golden. Why does the Private sector continue to pay these Govt workers for better benefit packages than they themselves have.
I do not have a crystal ball, but I see a possible taxpayer revolt coming soon...... we can no longer pay for these elitist public sector golden wages and benefits!
Posted by: SP | Oct 26, 2021 6:13:21 AM
Re DGR. Public sector employee's aren't doing fantastic. It's that private sector employee's are getting shafted.
(for fun plot company profits vs inflation and company profits vs employee wages over the past 45 years). Your answer is right there.
Just for giggles you might also want to plot out the collapse in Corporate taxation over the same period.
Posted by: CN | Oct 26, 2021 2:16:29 PM
I work for the federal government and i don't think I have an extravagant benefit package. My dental plan only allows me to do basic cleaning every 9 months where the standard is every 6 months. My plan only pays 80% and the standard is 90%. The health plan is nothing to boast over either! So many areas have caps of like $500 or $1000. In this day and age it is very easy to reach those annual caps and the federal government benefits caps are way too low. They were ok when they negotiated them in 1980 but this is 30 years later and those caps haven't been pushed up at all. At least I don't have to pay for my benefits though......that is one saving grace.
Posted by: Tesa | Oct 26, 2021 4:55:12 PM
Poor you, the most of private sector doesn't have medical/ dental benefits at all.
Posted by: Bruce Hollett | Oct 26, 2021 5:22:00 PM
I have been selling employee benefit plans for 35 years. There is nothing standard about what is offered to an employee. It depends on the employers budget and also with the Unionized employees it depends on what is negotiated and what the Union feels is more important. Benefits or wages
Many in the private sector would be pleased to have what government employees have, no matter how poor the design is.
Posted by: doh! | Oct 26, 2021 5:26:29 PM
And thats the problem right there.
Its not that the public sector get too much its that private sector is all about making the few at the top rich on the backs of the many underneath them and that means shafting their need for good if any benefits.
People need to wake up and realize this dont get mad at the public sector get mad at the greedy private sector.
Posted by: frred | Oct 26, 2021 8:09:13 PM
best to fill your health spending account.. the insurance company's steal money for there own use
Posted by: llr | Oct 26, 2021 9:22:30 PM
If you have a student over the age of 18, use them to claim against before claiming your own expenses against your plan. You can claim your and your spouse's expenses against income tax, but can't claim your kids once they turn 18. I found that out the hard way!
As to public vs. private, my husband is in a small company with a relatively low salary, but has better benefits than me, a health care worker, except I have a small annual health spending account which he doesn't.
People think they're so hard done by either way, but a lot of people I've talked to don't bother to educate themselves as to what can be claimed either against a health spending account, or against income tax. Almost everyone I've had any discussion with doesn't realize private (not provincial government) premiums are a claimable income tax health care expense, and are often claimable against a health spending account as well. One lady I talked to recently said she has a health spending account but never claims anything against it as she doesn't know what to claim. In her case, not bothering to find out isn't anyone's fault but her own, and she's giving away free money every year.
Posted by: llr | Oct 26, 2021 9:26:00 PM
Raymeus - have you checked with your dentist whether they'll deal directly with your insurance company? My dentist submits directly to our plan, and we don't have to put the money out up front.
Alternately, can you pay with a credit card, submit immediately, and have the money back before the statement comes due?