Benefits: Why Do They Matter?

By May 23, 2012 No Comments

With Health Care Reform always in the news nowadays, it is hard to go a day in Alabama without seeing something about Blue Cross Blue Shield in the news.  Today’s article points out something that I already knew, but made me think twice: “Alabama has the least competitive insurance market in the nation.”

If you have worked in any company that is based in Alabama, then you were probably offered insurance through BCBS.  Daxko offers Health and Dental Insurance through this company, and the offerings are pretty good.  But I didn’t know that until I started working on benefits from the company’s side of things.  No one ever talked to me about considering a benefits package when looking for a job.

Careerbuilder published an article a few years ago that lists the Top 5 Things to Consider When Looking for a New Job.  Among the list was Financial Considerations.  This doesn’t spell out benefits but it does include looking for a package that will add to your total compensation.

In my opinion, here are some things a candidate would want to consider when looking for a new job.  This is a very basic listing, probably best fit for a recent graduate.  As an individual’s life situation changes, their considerations will be tailored to their needs.

  • InsuranceHealth insurance is something that is typically standard at most companies, but not all.  Even when a company offers health insurance there may be a monthly cost to the team member (called a premium) that, if enrolled, the team member would have to pay in order to participate in the plan.  This is something to consider.  Daxko pays 100% of the premium for individual enrollment in our plan.  Also, consider the coverage that is offered through the company’s plan.  Does it include annual check-ups?  What is the co-pay (out of pocket cost) when going to a doctor? What is the deductible?  Is there prescription coverage?  I could go on and on.

Not all companies offer Dental and/or Vision Insurance.  Do not assume. Ask and then consider those costs as well.

  • 401k – This is something that has dwindled with the economy.  401k is a method of saving and (hopefully) increasing money, through investing for retirement. Contributions to this method of savings is on a pre-tax basis and often matched by the company.  For example, for every $1 a team member contributes, the company will also contribute $.50 up to a certain percentage.  Many companies have frozen participation in this benefit and others do not offer a match.  Daxko matches 50% up to the first 6% of a team member’s salary, with immediate enrollment.
  • Paid Time Off (PTO) – Vacation, sick, personal time off of work with pay.  Some companies have different banks for vacation time, sick time and general personal time.  These banks are only for time taken off for those specific reasons.  It is common for employers to ask for doctor’s excuses when taking time off due to sickness.  Other companies allow their team members a bank of general paid time off (PTO).  This time can be used for any reason within reason.

Time off is not guaranteed.  This is something that has to be approved by each individual’s team lead. Daxko offers a very generous PTO benefit along with a paid sabbatical leave after 7 years of employment.

This is a brief list of a few benefits that one may want to consider when looking for a new job.  Always ask for a company’s benefit package.  Review it along with the salary and consider your individual needs.  This will definitely play a role in employment satisfaction in the long term.

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