To Opt In Or Not To Opt In: 3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Signing Up For Group Insurance
After finding new employment, you'll normally be pleasantly surprised to find that the company you're working for offers group insurance to their employees. The group insurance normally includes medical and dental coverage, and most employees do choose to opt in. However, if you already have medical and dental insurance of your own, comparing the terms and conditions involved with opting in with the group insurance with the type of coverage and policy you already have is vital in making an informed decision. Here are 3 questions you should ask yourself first before signing up.
The Cost of the Group Insurance Compared to the Cost of the Deductible
Most employees typically opt in for the group insurance due to the fact that a portion of the cost is covered by the company, which makes the group insurance policy a lot more affordable in comparison to individual insurance plans. Basically, the average annual individual insurance premiums costs approximately $17,500 for the average family; however, those who have signed up for group insurance offered by their employers typically only pay approximately 10% of their annual income or $6,422. That's quite a huge amount of savings that can be enjoyed and spent on other household expenses.
Don't only focus on how much the insurance premiums will cost you every year. You also need to take a look at the cost of the deductibles should you ever need the insurance. For example, determine how much out-of-pocket expenses you would need to pay if you were to end up in the hospital after a car accident. It's important to consider whether the deductibles for the group insurance plans are affordable or not.
The Type of Coverage Offered and Who It Extends To
If you have any special or genetic conditions or if you are struggling with any pre-existing illnesses, compare the type of coverage that your individual insurance plans can offer you compared to the type of coverage that is offered by the group insurance plans. If you have pre-existing conditions, an individual insurance plan you purchased prior to getting ill might be able to offer you more coverage than a group insurance plan, as you might be considered as a high-risk client at the moment, whereas you might not have been before. You also need to take a look at the type of coverage offered to determine whether the group insurance plans cover the cost of the medications and medical treatments that you now need. You need to confirm that there are no restrictions that might result in a change of your medical regime.
Group insurance plans often extend coverage to your family members as well. A more careful look at the terms and conditions of the plan will allow you to determine who the coverage extends to and what you need to do to get your family members covered. For example, some group insurance plans extend medical and dental coverage to your spouse or children, whereas others offer coverage to extended family members as well as long as they live under your roof or meet other requirements and conditions.
The Requirements or Conditions Involved with Signing Up
If the plan sounds like a good idea and a better deal than what you already have, the final step should be to look at the requirements and conditions involved with signing up with the plan. For example, consider whether you have to have worked at the company for a certain amount of time before the coverage kicks in. You also need to consider whether the group insurance plan will require that you be locked into the plan for several years after signing up.
Understanding what your responsibilities are can help you make a decision. It's particularly important to consider what the conditions of the plan are compared to the type of employment contract you have with the company.
Group insurance plans offered by employers are more often than not able to offer you a great deal on the type of coverage you need. Still, you should sit down with a representative from an insurance company like Health Shop Inc or someone from your company to work out the details and confirm that the plan is truly what it claims to be.