By: Revanche

Married Life: Benefits

December 2, 2011

With everything going on, it took two and a half weeks into married life to even look at the benefits. Ree-diculous. I’m normally obsessive about benefits but even I am now thinking 30 days post wedding is simply  not enough time to deal with those changes.  Still, we managed to wade through the majority of the issues.

I’ve been added to his full benefits package – Medical, Dental, Vision – and am retaining my own FSA. I was rather on the fence about that one – does it make more financial sense in terms of tax breaks for me to have the tax benefit, him, or does it come out in the wash since we should probably file together?  I hadn’t a minute to do any tax estimates for the purpose of estimating how we should file so I just had to let that go for now.

A few things are still left to be done. 

Because my additions to his benefits were made during his open enrollment period, his company won’t activate my benefits until the new year.  Lovely.

Meanwhile, it turns out that I cannot, because of the way my benefits are structured, retain just my Dental and Vision with him as a dependent so that we have secondary coverary while dropping the Medical that I’m paying for.  So I will have to drop all my benefits.

{Break for a moment of spazzing: Even though I’ll still be fully covered, that makes me feel naked. I haven’t not had my own full coverage since I was 17.  Seriously. This is insecurity “I’m a dependent-what??” territory.}

I will now focus on the fact that I am exceedingly grateful to have the choice between two decent insurance plans that we can afford, even though his is more expensive, because there are too many people who can’t afford insurance at all including my own family. {That’s why the reaction, actually – I’ve always worked past the point of breaking to make sure I’d have coverage.  Now we’re dependent solely on his job to provide.  Dependent. *breathe*}

You will note that while I may fully intend to make rational decisions, I still have emotions about my money.

Estimated cost: Increases in monthly premiums of approximately 20% overall, but coverage will be more extensive for routine procedures. 

One example: I’m expecting a slew of dental work to the tune of $1000+, and after the deductible, my cost was going estimated to be $388 on my own plan with a $100 deductible and an 80% basics coverage.

PiC’s has a lower deductible ($50) and covers 90% of basic treatment.  While we’re paying $8 more/month for that premium dental plan, I’m clearly going to be saving at least that $100 difference right off the bat with this single treatment between the deductible and the extra 10% coverage.

Next up: When my coverage starts with PiC, I have to cancel my own benefits using the Life Status Change for Reason of “Insurance Coverage Changes”. I didn’t even remember that was one of the options under qualifying life event/doesn’t have to wait for open enrollment to change your plan!  Learn something new.

We also increased our life insurance to more adequate amounts based on our new financial obligations and added each other as beneficiaries. That was weird. But necessary. I wouldn’t be able to carry this mortgage plus all the other finances without extra help and both PiC and my dad would need some financial assistance if I were bumped off.

That means filling out more paperwork this weekend and once again at the start of the year.  After that, we should be in good shape until the next open enrollment period!  *whew*

So much for simple, huh?

5 Responses to “Married Life: Benefits”

  1. Karen says:

    Seems odd that PiC benefits for you do not start until next year just because it occured during open enrollment. Couldn’t he do the “Change in Life Status” reason and have it start now?
    Also, IF he loses his job, you wouldn’t be without coverage long if at all with COBRA and switching back to your benefits.

  2. i thought you were going to wax rhapsodic on the BENEFITS of marriage–having a helpmeet, and all that.

  3. Serendipity says:

    Insurance matters always seem so complicated to me and never simple. I’m glad you guys have figured it out.

  4. You may be able to have your father declared your dependent. In that case, he could go on your or PiC’s health insurance.

    Same with the brother if he ends up on disability.

    I’d look into it carefully, though. You don’t want to find yourself liable for nursing home or mental hospital costs, which are truly ruinous.

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