Receiving health insurance from your employer is a great benefit in itself, but you may qualify for additional benefits and health-related services.
While you may receive general benefits as an employee of a company, your employer’s health insurance may qualify you for extensive mental and physical health benefits. In addition to basic outpatient care, prescription coverage and emergency services, you can also take advantage of health consultations, planning services and other aid.
While anyone may purchase insurance independently from their employers, employer’s insurance is often more affordable than independent plans, and can provide unique benefits and coverage that other plans may not be able to offer. The following sections detail four benefits of your employer’s insurance that you may not be utilizing. These benefits may give you various opportunities to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses, and provide comprehensive physical and mental health treatment to your family. However, some employer’s insurance plans may not offer the same benefits, so you should check your insurance’s benefits. Additionally, not all benefits may be used by all employees, and some benefits may not satisfy their healthcare needs properly. You should speak to your insurance provider before taking advantage of any benefits that may not be recommended for you.
Good coinsurance policies can help you save money on out-of-pocket costs and copays by splitting the costs of care effectively with your insurance company. Instead of paying flat copays each visit, you will pay a percentage of the total cost of a visit. Coinsurance may be the most beneficial to employers if they or their families need a lot of treatment for a condition. Most employers insurance plans offer coinsurance at varying rates. Typically, you can expect to pay up to 20 percent of all medical costs, while the insurance company pays the remaining 80 percent. However, most coinsurance does not apply after you meet your annual deductible, or out-of-pocket max. Coinsurance can be applied to:
However, you are encouraged to consider your standard medical costs before switching to coinsurance
With employers insurance, professionals are often available to discuss personal issues with you, and other policyholders, via the phone or internet. This expert advice can be accessed at any time, and may help you manage physical or mental health, financial, legal or life issues. Clinicians can provide in-person counseling for stress, anxiety, grief and substance abuse, whereas qualified attorneys can offer a free consultation to advise you on divorce, debt or civil concerns. The extent of professional information you may receive from your employer may vary, but most employers insurance plans present some free consultations. The following concerns may be addressed in these no-cost consultations:
Price reductions may be applied to future services deemed necessary during the consultation. For example, legal fees may be discounted by 20 percent if the attorney recommends legal services. While these consultations do not address all concerns that other physicians or professionals can address, the inclusion of these consultations in insurance benefits can help policy-holders tremendously.
Although most employees expect some degree of vision coverage with their group insurance plans, additional benefits may be offered. Some employers’ insurance plans include vision coverage for all policyholders, but others may limit who receives vision coverage. They may offer vision coverage via stand-alone plans, or basic vision coverage from the existing plan. Usually, annual eye exams and glasses or contacts are covered with limited out-of-pocket expenses
Some employers insurance plans may give discounts on optional vision correction surgeries, like LASIK, and make luxury eyewear more affordable. However, you are advised to contact your employers insurance company to learn how your vision coverage is operated, as vision coverage is distinct from other health insurance.
Your employer’s insurance may offer coverage through companies like Delta Dental. These companies connect you to a network of certified dentists, and enable you to choose your preferred dentist. Depending on the size of the company, employees may receive different amounts of dental coverage.
Rehabilitative and habilitative services related to mental health and substance abuse must be as comprehensive as coverage for medical and surgical services. In most employers insurance plans, you may qualify for counseling and other services meant to treat mental health disorders.
Similar to individual retirement accounts (IRAs), HSAs are savings accounts meant to cover medical care costs. The account earns interest and rolls over unused funds each calendar year. HSAs can be used to cover any deductibles, copays, coinsurance or other expenses.
Group health insurance plans often provide financial compensation to employees with a medical disability. Short-term and long-term disability coverage is available – based on your employer’s insurance plan and your disability.
Like disability compensation, indemnity plans protect you against high medical costs resulting from hospital admission, vehicle accidents or sudden illnesses. The benefits you receive from indemnity insurance are provided in cash to cover certain medical expenses, insurance deductibles and other bills approved for indemnity coverage. The amount of cash benefits you may receive depends on your employer’s insurance plan.
FSAs are great ways for employees to save money while paying for required services, like healthcare, childcare and commuter services. In an FSA, you can designate a portion of your income to be added to a separate account reserved for such expenses. This account is often managed by your insurance company.
Related Article: Choosing a Health Insurance Plan