Comparison of Benefits
Many workers place a good benefits package at the top of their career wish lists. But how many people actually know how to spot one? What separates a rich employee benefits program from a cheap one? How much will switching to a new benefits program cost you and your family? These are important questions every astute employee and job seeker needs to tackle.
To find the answers, you'll need to roll up your sleeves and do some serious research. Learning the ins and outs of a company's benefits package is homework that no one can afford to skip. The best way to start is to write down what benefits are most important to you. What are the costs of your preferred benefits under your current plan? What are the costs of those benefits under a new plan? Are the benefits that are most important to you even offered under a new plan? You'll also want to make a long list of every benefit provided by each company and the costs. Even the most basic company benefits package will typically include health insurance, a retirement plan such as a 401(k), life insurance, disability and paid time off.
Health plan considerations
Let's start with a company's health plan since that's the benefit that's most important to most people. When you sign up for a health plan at your office, you're actually signing on for a group insurance plan offered through your employer. With this kind of group insurance plan, your employer may pay half or two-thirds or more of your premium with the rest coming out of your paychecks bit by bit. Employees in a group plan all pay the same rate for coverage regardless of their age, health and medical condition. Premiums paid by healthy employees help pay the claims made by employees that get sick. Key things to zero in on when comparing health plans is choice of doctors and the cost and range of services covered. When it comes to health plans, usually the more options you have when choosing your medical care, the more the coverage...