It’s that time of year again when most companies open their annual enrollment period for employee benefits. The time when the employee has the ability to change his/her benefit elections for the upcoming year. Things like medical coverage, dental coverage, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, etc. Now with the affordable care act in place I believe many of us will be facing changes in the way of cost increases in our medical benefits. Those benefits package should be arriving shortly, it not already and you will be able to see just how big of an impact it will make in your finances. Now depending on when you receive a merit increase these changes could actually reduce your take home pay come the New Year. Keep this in mind as you plan ahead.
Grass isn’t Always GreenerHow many times have you heard this phase as it relates to the workplace? Often I’m sure, I know I have. All jobs and companies are not created equal. Some require travel, being on call, working extra hours, working in dangerous environments, etc. Company benefits vary as well, number of paid days off, cost of medical coverage, perks offered, bonus, etc. There are a number of variables that go into the company’s ability to offer you the employee these benefits, their size, their revenue, the position, the job responsibilities, etc. So is the grass greener on the other side? It’s difficult to say because most positions don’t equal one another.
Managing By FearChange is inevitable, I get that. My family and I will adapt to possible changes in cost or coverage in our medical benefits in the coming year. What frustrates me about the changes is the spin that is put on them internally at companies. Statements like “no other companies pay as much towards benefits as we do.” Well this is simply not the case. I have done a quick informal survey of some family and friends and found a wide range of benefits cost. Some better, some worst. It varies widely, so to make a statement and claim it as fact is dishonest. I would much rather hear the facts. There will be changes this year, we expect increases in cost, depending on your benefit plan cost increase will vary. As the workplace continues to evolve and employers look to do more with less pushing employee boundaries it’s important that “you’re lucky to have a job” attitude doesn’t rule the workplace.
What’s your current state of benefits at your job? Are you expecting big changes in 2014? Do you ever fell like you not getting honest answers at your workplace?