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What to look for when electing benefits

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When it comes time to elect benefits, the choices can be overwhelming. You might have to make choices for everything from health insurance to dental coverage to your 401(k).


Whether it’s time for open enrollment or you’re just trying to think ahead, let’s look at a few things to keep your eye on when electing benefits:


Life insurance: Many employers offer life insurance at low or no cost to employees. This is an important benefit to consider, especially if you have loved ones that rely on your income. Make sure to look at the coverage amount and see if it’s enough to meet your needs.


401(k) plans: Many companies offer a 401(k) or other retirement plan. This is a great way to save for retirement, and some employers will even match a portion of your contributions. Some companies require employees to be employed for a certain amount of time to opt into their 401(k) plan, and you sometimes have to sign up on a different platform than where you elect other benefits, so be sure to ask HR if you haven’t received information.


Health insurance: Most employers offer more than one health insurance plan. When deciding which plan to opt into, you may want to examine the deductible, copays, premiums, coverage limits, as well as the type of plan to see if the plan meets your needs.


Dental coverage: Employees often have a choice of several dental plans. Be sure to look at the coverage limits, premiums, deductibles, and other features so you know your benefits.


Vision plan: If you wear glasses or contacts, or think you might need to, vision coverage can be a great benefit to have. Once again, be sure to check the premiums, deductibles, and other specifics before enrolling in a plan.


Flexible spending: Flexible spending accounts can be used to set aside money for things like medical or childcare expenses. Putting money into your flexible spending accounts can be a great way to save money on taxes.


Employee discount programs: Many companies offer employee discount programs that can save you money on things like gym memberships, travel, and more. Be sure to ask your employer about these programs to see if they offer any discounts that you can take advantage of.


Electing your benefits

When it comes to benefits, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution—that’s part of the reason there are so many choices. It’s important to take your time, look at all the options, and decide what’s right for you. Do your research and read the fine print so you know exactly what to expect.

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