Determining who to select as a beneficiary for your insurance from your employer can present a challenge initially. Typically, the difficulty in choosing what to do increases when both you and your partner receive benefits from your employers. Nearly half of married couples had both partners working in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Options come in many ways:
- which plans offer the best coverages
- overall cost.
Keep these things in mind as you look at your benefit options:
1) Health Insurance
Think about these initial questions when comparing each plan option: What are the plan and network types of each package? Can you continue to use your primary physician? Do you take any regular prescriptions? If so, how would they be covered under each plan? What would be your our of pocket expenses? Are there any expected medical needs for the following year?
Look at the difference between being on separate plans, each through your own employer, or the cost of being on one plan together. Typically, when it comes to medical coverage, it’s more cost efficient to add a spouse than to get an individual medical plan. In 2017, the average employee saw a 5% increase in premiums compared to a near 25% increase for people buying coverage on their own.
3) Other Benefits: Disability Insurance Long & Short Term, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)/Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Childcare Aubsidy and Wellness Programs
There will likely be varying options from each employer. Compare all options to see which is best for your particular situation, both in terms of coverage and affordability.
When looking at disability insurance, ensure that you cover the earnings being replaced to the greatest extent available and the most cost-effective amount. (Do the same with the life insurance policy options as well.) Look to see if both you as the employee and your partner will receive benefits – if needed. If not for some reason, it may be best to consider single coverage through each respective employer.
Choosing between benefit plans as a couple can be an initial challenge, but there’s no reason for it to be difficult. The most important part will be to look at your options and make the best selections to fit your household needs.