Congratulations! You’ve just started a new job. You’re probably feeling excited, and maybe a bit overwhelmed.
Filling out paperwork, meeting new people, undergoing training, and even finding your way around the building are just some of the challenges new employees often face. But perhaps one of the most important tasks new employees need to complete is choosing which of your employer-sponsored health plans is right for you.
Here are three things to consider when reviewing plan options:
- Health Needs: Think about the last year in terms of your health needs. Did you visit the doctors often or only for your annual check-up? Do you tend to see a lot of specialists, or do you mostly visit a primary care doctor? Individuals with serious or chronic health conditions will have different coverage needs than individuals who do not. If you’re married or have dependents who will be on your plan, remember to consider their health needs as well.
- Costs: Oftentimes the first number people look at when reviewing health plans is the monthly premium, or how much money will be taken out of your paycheck. But you also have to consider other costs associated with the plan such as co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance and out-of-pocket maximums.
- Provider Network: Not all doctors accept all insurance plans. If you have very strong ties to a certain doctor, maybe you’ve seen the same family doctor for years, you will want to make sure he or she is within the network of doctors that accepts the insurance plan you’re considering. The BCBSM.com Find a Doctor Tool is a great resource for finding a doctor who accepts your coverage.
“It’s important for employees to take a closer look at each plan, and then decide which plan would work best in their situation,” suggest Reiner Calderero, a human resources service representative for director and employee benefits at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
It can be overwhelming to review employer-sponsored health plans during an already busy time at a new job. If you need help reviewing your plan options, consider contacting your benefits coordinator to request a one-on-one meeting.
Did you recently start a new job where you had to select a new health plan? What helped you make your decision?
Photo credit: Flazingo Photos.