Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mix and match employer benefits to save cash.

Several years ago, my wife was a part time worker at a local hospital and I was employed by another. As a part time employee, she was not eligible for any benefits. So for years, I carried all the insurance our family needed. Then, two changes occurred that allowed us to explore new options and do a kaizen or improvement idea to get the same benefits at a lower cost.

-My wife’s new employer gave part time employees full benefits
-My employer no long made all benefits exclusive i.e. you could pick whatever insurance benefits you wanted (all, some, or none) instead of all or nothing.

The kaizen idea we came up with was to mix and match benefits for the best price. Here’s what we did this year:

If we took full medical, dental, and vision insurance from my wife’s plan, the cost was $216.91 per pay.

If we took full medical, dental, and vision insurance from my plan, the cost was $206.24 per pay or a savings of $10.67.

If we chose medical, dental, and vision insurance at the lowest price in each plan, the cost went down to $187.42, a savings of $29.49 over the most expensive benefits package. The really cool thing was that the dental and vision plans from each employer were identical. So, we get the same insurance at the lower cost-in case of the dental, it’s almost $30 less a pay.

The really cool thing is that my employer will pay any employee a set amount NOT to be on the company’s health insurance. So, our savings are now $79.49 a pay. That’s an almost $2000 a year saving. Try this mixing and matching benefits kaizen and see how you can use creativity over capital!

Dan Lafever, Kaizeneer

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