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How to make the most of employee benefits

Employee benefits are highly coveted in the workplace, but they are also largely misunderstood. Did you know that almost a third of American workers who are eligible for employee benefits (31%) admitted they do not fully understand any of the benefits they selected during their most recent open enrollment period? If you’re one of these workers confused by employee benefits and thinking ‘what benefits should I enroll in?’, this Pacific Prime article is your guide on how to make the most of employee benefits. 

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1. Understand that no two employee benefits programs are the same.

Employee benefits programs come in all shapes and sizes. Have you recently moved employers? Or has your current employer made any changes to their benefits program? Either way, understanding employee benefits is a continual learning process. For example, some employers offer a one-size-fits-all program to all employers, while others provide far more individual choice through flexible benefits. Likewise, voluntary benefits are also another type of employee benefits program that is a major source of confusion for many American workers. 

What are voluntary benefits?

Put simply, voluntary benefits are benefits that are outside of your regular healthcare and retirement plans. Some examples of voluntary benefits include disability insurance, dental insurance, pet insurance, and so much more. Typically, the costs for these voluntary benefits are shared between the employer and the employee. 

While voluntary benefits can help workers save money, and nearly three-quarters of employed individuals who are eligible for benefits (70%) say they are more likely to work for an employer who offers voluntary benefits, the reality is that less than half of benefit-eligible employees (49%) actually took advantage of these voluntary benefit coverages offered by their employer.

2. Evaluate your needs before making your employee benefits selection.

Many employees make the mistake of rushing their employee benefits selection without carefully evaluating and considering their needs. In these situations, what can end up happening is choosing benefits that sound great in theory but don’t make sense for one’s personal situation. Or even if the benefits are fitting, it might not take into account how things may change over time and be irrelevant in the long term. Here are some examples:

    • Vision insurance: This employee benefit may sound great if you’d like to prioritize your vision, but it won’t be a priority if you’ve got perfect vision and have no need for prescription lenses. 
    • Pet insurance: This employee benefit may make pet owners excited, but think again if you’ve got a senior pet with multiple chronic health problems. This is because pre-existing conditions are often not covered. 
    • Car insurance discounts: This employee benefit may seem like a smart way to save money if you have a car, but many forget to consider whether having a car makes sense in the first place. Ask yourself if public transport may be a better option, for instance. 
    • And more.

3. Take your time, seek advice, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Making employee benefits choices aren’t all that straightforward. Add in the fact that there’s employee benefits jargon and it’s no wonder that workers are confused, intimidated, and end up making all the wrong choices. The best thing you can do is to take your time and read all the information provided so that you’re in a better position to make your decision. In addition to this, don’t be afraid to seek advice from someone who has been through the process before such as a colleague, or head over to the internet to do your own research. 

Oftentimes, a lot of workers also forget that the company’s HR team is waiting to support them with their employee benefit options. Whether you’ve got a burning question or simply need to clarify something, don’t be afraid to open the line of communication and ask all your questions. Remember that there are no stupid questions and it’s always better to ask questions than to make a mistake and regret it down the line. 

Looking for top-up insurance? Get in touch with Pacific Prime today!

Knowing your benefits can go a long way in helping you choose the right ones. But when it comes to healthcare benefits and health insurance, sometimes it’s handy to get supplementary health insurance known as top-up insurance. In fact, securing your own private health insurance plan may also be a good idea so that your health benefits aren’t completely tied to your employer. 

Whatever type of insurance you’re looking for, Pacific Prime is more than happy to help. As a global health insurance broker and employee benefits specialist, we have over two decades of experience and 100% impartial advisors on hand who can walk you through your health insurance options, provide a tailored plan comparison, and lots of support and assistance throughout your insurance journey. 

Contact us today to get started!


Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Suphanida is a Senior Content Creator at Pacific Prime, an award-winning global health insurance and employee benefits specialist.

With over 5 years of experience in the field, Suphanida spends the majority of her day synthesizing complex pieces of insurance-related information and translating this into easy-to-understand, engaging, and effective content across a variety of media such as articles, infographics, whitepapers, videos, and more.

Suphanida is also responsible for planning and publishing three whitepapers released annually by Pacific Prime: The State of Health Insurance Report, The Cost of Health Insurance Report, and The Global Employee Benefits Trends Report. Additionally, she handles the LinkedIn profiles of Pacific Prime’s Founder and CEO, as well as Global HR Lead.

Suphanida’s strengths lie in her strong research and analytical skills, which she has gained from her BA in Politics from the University of Warwick and Erasmus Mundus Joint MA in Journalism from Aarhus University and City, University of London.

Being of Thai-Indian origin and having lived, studied, and worked in Thailand, the UK, and Denmark, Suphanida also has a unique, multicultural perspective that helps her understand the struggles of expats and globetrotters.

Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.
Suphanida Thakral