You’ve got great benefits. Do you know how to access them?
The best benefits in the world won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to access and use them. It’s an issue that’s more common than you might think. One survey found that 86% of employees are confused by their benefit plan.
The first step towards getting the maximum advantage from your benefits is to take the time to find out which ones are included in your plan. If you get your benefits through work, your human resources or benefits team are the best place to start if you have questions, don’t know what benefits you have, or don’t know how to access or use them. Your employer should also provide printed or online information when you sign up for the plan during open enrollment. If you have an employee portal or hub, there may also be details on your benefits there.
If you get health insurance through a broker, their customer service team should be able to answer your benefits questions and provide information. If you get your coverage through the health insurance marketplace, your health insurer’s website should have information and there should be a toll-free customer service number you can call with questions.
Look beyond health and retirement benefits
Most employees are pretty well versed in using their health insurance and know about options for contributing to their retirement plan. But many employers offer a range of other benefits that may not be as well known or understood, but that can help you in a range of ways.
Check to find out if you have any additional benefits, including:
- Wellness services and discounts
- Mental health benefits and services
- Care navigation services to help with managing chronic or serious health conditions
- Medical second opinion services, which can be especially valuable if you’ve received a recommendation for surgery or have been diagnosed with a serious, rare, or complex health problem
- Employee assistance programs, which offer no-cost help in a range of areas, including mental health and substance use, legal help, and financial guidance
- Flexible spending accounts for health expenses and dependent care expenses
- Health savings accounts, which are available to people with high deductible health plans
- Financial wellness and counselling services
- Legal services
- Life and disability insurance
- Commuting benefits
- Parental leave
- Adoption support
- Tuition reimbursement to help you further your education and learn new skills
- Telecommuting and work from home programs
- Student loan assistance programs
Although many of the benefits in this list aren’t directly related to health and wellbeing, all of them can have a positive effect on both areas by lowering stress associated with financial concerns, supporting mental health, and helping you build the skills you need to grow and thrive in your career.