Know Your Benefits – How I Scored an Extra $150

How 1 hour of my time, earned me an extra $150

While there are a lot of pros and cons about having a day job, one of the pros is definitely the employee benefits.  Benefits like medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401k company match, and paid time off.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t have my job just because of the employee benefits, but the benefits are a nice bonus.

Today I particularly want to focus on my health insurance. A downside I’ve faced this year is the coverage options my company provided changed. I was forced into a high-deductible plan with an HSA. Find out how 1 hour meant an extra $150 into my HSA.

Changing Deductibles

I had been debating opening an HSA anyway but the high deductible was something I was concerned about. While I am a relatively healthy twenty-something, I do love and play a sport(rugby), that has me prone to injuries.

Last year I spent $1800 on medical bills. Then my deductible was only $500 which meant $1300 was paid by my insurance company, I paid at most 30% of the bill.

This year my deductible is $1500. Three times as much! To say I was concerned about the amount of money that would be coming out of my pocket would be an understatement. Not to mention, high medical bills are a surefire way to undermine a debt payoff plan.

Fortunately, as part of the plan, I chose my company automatically put $700 into my HSA. But I just scored an extra $150 from them for my HSA or as I like to think of it, my save up for LASIK someday account. So what did I have to do to earn this extra cash? Simply a wellness screening and survey.

Wellness Screenings

The screening is being done for free as they have set up sometimes onsite in the office (this is also how I got my free flu shot last year). I just had to schedule a time, go and get my blood drawn.

After the screening, I will have to complete a survey that takes about 30 minutes. All in all a tax-free $150 for an hour of my time is a pretty excellent deal that I couldn’t afford to pass up.

You Should Contribute Enough to Your HSA to Cover Your Deductible

So with $850 going towards my deductible, I chose to have an additional $50 pre-tax contributed to my HSA per paycheck.

This will allow me to have enough money to pay my deductible and then some. Since the money in an HSA will roll over, I don’t have to worry about losing what I don’t spend. It really will become my save up for Lasik someday account.

Other Employee Benefits Available

Now getting this $150 is pretty sweet, but it’s not the only sort of extra employee benefits I’m taking advantage of. I also get a huge discount to weight watchers through my company. They offer other great discounts for things link helping to quit smoking. I don’t smoke so I don’t take advantage of it or other great offers.

Wrapping it Up with a Bow on Top

So if you haven’t taken a good hard look at what all is included in your health insurance coverage, I suggest you do so. Who knows, perhaps you’ll end up with an extra $150 too.

Have you ever taken advantage of a lesser known benefit as part of your health insurance?

Editor’s Note 4/27/16: I finally saved enough and got LASIK. All it took was a couple of wellness screenings, contributing $100 to my HSA each month, and not getting hurt.

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