Frequently Asked Questions

Asking questions is the best way to get informed about your benefits. So we've compiled the most frequently asked questions, and answers, right here for your review.

If I purchase financial protection benefits, do I still need major medical insurance?

Yes. Your major medical insurance coverage is important. Financial protection benefits can help provide you with money to pay for some of the expenses not covered by major medical insurance.

If I have the opportunity to attend a benefits counseling session, why should I go?

During a 1-to-1 session, a benefits counselor will review all of your benefits options with you, discuss your personal situation and answer any questions you have to help you make the best possible decisions for you and your family. It is wise to attend a benefits counseling session every year as needs and personal situations change so you can make sure your benefits are working for you. It's like a benefits checkup!

What are deductibles and co-pays?

A deductible is the amount noted in your policy that you must pay before the insurance company provides coverage. A co-pay is an amount designated in your plan for out-of-pocket expenses, such as doctor visits or prescriptions.

Why do I need disability insurance when there is Social Security?

Social Security benefits are tough to get and will most likely not provide enough funds to maintain your current standard of living. To be eligible for Social Security benefits, your disability must be severe enough where you can't work at any job, not just at your current job.

What is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

An FSA is a special account that lets you set aside pre-tax dollars for eligible health care and medical expenses.

Why should I purchase benefits through work versus on my own?

If you purchase benefits through your employer, you'll most likely have a cost savings, as your company has negotiated a group rate. You can also rest assured that your employer has done a significant amount of research and planning to ensure that the benefits they provide fit the needs of their employees.

What is open enrollment and why is it important?

Your employer may set aside an open enrollment window for employees to review, compare and choose from the health plans offered by the company. Open enrollment normally takes place once a year, so it's important to review all of your benefits options to make sure they are meeting your needs. 

While the opportunity to select your benefits may only be available during open enrollment, there are some exceptions like the birth of a child or loss of a loved one—that may allow you change your selections. Ask your benefits counselor to learn more.

How does private disability coverage differ from workers' compensation and state disability?

Private disability coverage can be tailored to fit your needs and does not only pertain to disabilities that happen at the workplace, unlike workers compensation. With private disability, you determine which benefits are right for you, purchase the policy, and pay the premiums yourself. Your plans may also allow the opportunity to take the benefits with you wherever you work, so make sure you discuss this option with your benefits counselor.

What is the difference between a mini-med plan and comprehensive major medical insurance?

Mini-med plans generally cover most types of medical services but have low limits (or caps) on the amount of benefits that are payable annually or over the lifetime of the policy. For this reason, they have lower premiums than comprehensive major medical insurance. Comprehensive major medical insurance is a type of health insurance plan that provides benefits for a broad range of medical expenses that may be incurred either on an inpatient or outpatient basis with greater policy maximum limits. Lifetime limits for essential benefits offered under health insurance plans are now prohibited by the health reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Annual limits, which are now restricted by the ACA, will be prohibited beginning in 2014.