Posted December 4, 2015
Selecting benefits is a task many people put off until the enrollment deadline, usually spending less than 30 minutes reviewing and marking their choices. Instead of shopping for benefits, surveys show that employees would rather:
- Clean out their email inboxes
- Clean their toilets
- Do their taxes
- Sit in the middle seat on an airplane
- Get a tooth filled
The benefits packages employers offer may change each year, so it’s important to review carefully the choices and coverage options.
Six things to consider:
- Costs – Check current coverage and new benefits choices to determine whether you will have to pay more out of pocket for premiums, copayment amounts and deductibles.
- Coverage levels and features – Develop a list of benefits services and costs for the current year and projected needs for the upcoming year. Review plan changes. Verify plan features and coverage levels that are different, and determine whether they will cover your future health care needs.
- Network providers – Confirm that new plans include your preferred hospital and health care professionals in the network of providers. If not, you’ll have to switch to a provider who is in the new plan’s network, or pay more out of pocket to keep current care providers (out of network).
- Frequency limitations – Check whether new benefits limit the number of visits for specialty care, such as physical therapy, chiropractic or acupuncture.
- Plan options – Compare benefits offered by your employer alongside those available through your spouse’s employer. This is especially important when selecting coverage for kids. If you anticipate family changes, such as marriage, divorce or the addition of new dependents, check on the cost of adjusting coverage and when carrier notification is required.
- Carrier’s reputation and finances – Review the history of each carrier to learn about the quality of benefits, customer service and claims processing. Also check financial stability. Insurance carriers can drop coverage or merge with other carriers, leaving employers and employees scrambling to find new benefits coverage.
Dental insurance is a stable plan employees expect to find in their benefits packages.