Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Utilizing Employee Benefits

I have pretty craptastic health and dental insurance fairly good dental and vision. Dental is good because of the orthodontics plan and we are majorly utilizing this. My daughter got braces in September of 2008 and they are mighty expensive if you don't have coverage. In fact, she has 3 dental plans on her until these braces come off. We are lucky in that sense that instead of parenting married we parent jointly, which means my daughter has a step-mom who also carries her on her insurance as well as her father and I.

While those benefits aren't the best I do have benefits at least. However, I also have a ton of other benefits I haven't ever really used. I've decided I'm going to start utilizing them especially the EAP (Employee Assistance Program).

Some of my available benefits in addition to insurance and salary are:

401k - They match. They also contribute even if you aren't contributing how cool is that? I'm not utilizing it to its full potential and I am not contributing at the moment. I think its safe to say that most people have a little anxiety after so many lost so much of their retirements my mom who is 55 lost almost $200k that's a lot of money for someone nearing retirement to loose in their plan. Heck its a lot of money for anyone to loose.

Auto/Home Insurance - This works like a group rate type of thing, you get a discount just for being an employee and other discounts for getting automatic deductions from your paycheck. At the moment I am not eligible for this because the insurance company said they didn't give a reason but you know what I'm going to find out (I think my credit score just sucks enough they don't want me).

Employee Discounts - Too many things to list, hotel discounts, car rentals, cell phone plan discounts, attraction discounts, vehicle discounts (supplier benefit), various home repair discounts (HVAC, plumbing supplies) as we provide these services as well, and really many other items. This will really help whenever I finally buy a home.

Foundation - This is a charity part of the organization I work for, if I do a fundraiser and apply and get approved for a charity of my choice my company will match it. I'll be utilizing this for my 3-Day Walk.

Savings Bonds - I know wha??? That's what I was thinking too but apparently I can purchase them and have a weekly amount taken from my check until they are paid off. Kind of neat, I'll have to check that out more

Scholarships - This is for the children of employees, I don't plan on being here that long but its nice to know if I am my kid can apply and maybe get a scholarship out of the deal

Stock Purchase Plan - I think this has been offered everywhere I've ever been. I've never really participated but one day I will.

Thanks program - This is an employee incentive/recognition program. I don't see it being utilized to its potential at my branch though.

The EAP though, I'm going to utilize that on Thursday to get help financially. They have financial advisers and I think I could benefit even from just a small bit of help here. So many things I can get from the EAP. I'll let you all know how it goes.

What are your benefits you aren't using to their full potential? I urge you to find out what they are and see if there is something offered to you that you aren't using.

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