Deciding on Family Health Benefits

Health Benefits Advice for Dual Income Households

If you live in a dual income household as many Americans do, you should evaluate the health benefits offered by each of the family member's employers very closely before making a decision about what coverage you and your spouse will opt for. Health benefits are a great perk of many jobs, but if employers of both spouses offer health benefits, you really only need to take advantage of one.

Not All Plans Are Created Equal

Medical health benefits such as health and dental insurance are a great form of compensation offered by many employers. The benefit is that the employer picks up a huge portion of the medical coverage, and the employee pays the remainder in copays and weekly payroll deductions. Both spouses don’t need to take advantage of the health insurance benefits from each employer since most employers offer coverage for spouses and dependents.

Consider how much money you will need to contribute through payroll deductions when deciding what medical coverage to take. You will also need to pay attention to how much your copay amount will be with each health insurance. A copay is the amount of money you have to pay each time you go to the doctor’s office. Depending on how often you go to the doctor’s office, a $10 copay might be much more desirable than a $30 copay.

How Much Will It Cost You?

Each company attempts to offer the most competitive health benefits that best represent the needs of the majority of their employees. Therefore, certain companies require families to pay more out of pocket while other companies have the individual employees without dependents pay a larger portion. In addition, you do not need to take all the benefits from one employer and zero from the other. For example, you could take medical from one employer, and dental coverage from another employer. This, of course, assumes that both individuals plan to work their respective employers for the next year.

If you anticipate any change in employment for one spouse, the other spouse should opt to take the health benefits from his or her employer. Overall, though, compare the health benefits from both companies and select the one that will be financially beneficial for you.


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