Questions to Ask Potential Employers About Their Benefits Package

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Once you have interviewed with a company and you are interested in a position, it is time to learn more about the benefits package provided. Before you say ‘yes’ to a position of employment, you want to be sure that you understand the employee benefits on offer. The benefits package can consist of 40 percent or more of the compensation provided by the company. It is important to know what you will receive to understand exactly how much of a good benefits package it truly is. By asking the right questions, you can make a determination as to whether the job is worth the salary and benefits offered. You may regret taking a position within a company when you find out later the benefits package was not what you were expecting. Review the benefits you have been offered. Are the benefits and programs provided what you need as an individual or for your family? What costs are you responsible for? How much will you be paying on a monthly or yearly basis? Consider if the benefits provided will be a monetary burden or if you will be benefiting from the package. Asking questions ensures you fully understand what benefits are being offered to you and that you make the right decision in agreeing to become a new employee.

Health Insurance Coverage

The main factor to consider within a benefits package is health insurance coverage. You should ask if the employer pays for health insurance coverage and if so, how much the cost of individual coverage or family coverage will be. Ask about how the premium is deducted. You should learn as much as you can about the health insurance benefits such as the deductible, how you pay for insurance and what type of medical issues are covered.

Request a summary of health insurance plan options. With most employers, there will be a few plans to choose from, offering you variable amounts of coverage. Employers will offer a lower-end and a higher end coverage option so you can choose between less coverage and lower payments, or pay more for additional coverage. Always ask about pre-existing conditions and if they are covered, plus when coverage will start. Many employers delay the activation of health care benefits for three months during a probationary period.

Time-Off Benefits

Another area to consider within a benefits package is vacation time, sick time and holidays. It is important to fully understand this category of benefits. When it comes to sick time, find out how many days/hours are provided along with when you can begin using such benefits. Ask questions about vacation time, such as when you can use this time, and how many vacation days/hours you will receive. Will you have the ability to earn more sick time or vacation days as you move up in the company or work there for an extended period of time? Holiday time is also critical to know. Ask about the important holidays to you and if the company offers paid time off or if you must work during those days of the year.

Disability Coverage

As part of a benefits package, some employers will offer disability coverage. Both short-term and long- term disability coverage are beneficial. With short-term coverage, you are covered if you are in an accident or have an illness that requires you to be off work for a short period of time. Long-term coverage works in the same general sense, but would be for an extended period of time. Depending on your employer, you may have one or both of these options available to you. The employer can pay a portion of the coverage and you cover the rest, or you pay for total coverage. Either way, it is essential that you find out all you can about this coverage type so you understand what is being offered. worker’s compensation and unemployment benefits are generally offered as standard package offerings, but it will depend on the size of the company. Small businesses do not have the requirements that larger corporations do.

Education and Training Benefits

Depending on the company you work for, education and training benefits may be provided. This could range from offering to pay for certification classes or to provide you with tuition assistance to be able to take colleges courses to upgrade your skill level. Such training and education benefits may not only be offered for you but also for your family members. Asking questions about benefit options will help you to understand how you might further your education as well as continue to be a productive employee within the company, possibly with the ability to advance. This type of benefit usually comes with requirements, such as the employee attaining a grade C average in the course, or being an employee of the company for a set amount of time before educational opportunities become available.

Questions to Ask After Hiring

It is important to remember that you should never ask questions about benefits during the interviewing process. Wait until you have been offered the job to then discuss the benefits of the position with the person who offered you the position or with the human resources department. Once you have learned more about the benefits package, study the plan to make an educated decision as to whether this position will be of benefit to you.