What Are Company Benefits, and What Should You Look For?

We dig into what an employee benefit package is, and why it's important to you.

By Jamie Thomas

Nov 2019

medical illustrations
Illustration courtesy ShutterstockUnderstanding insurance can be tricky, so don't hesitate to talk an expert. The HR department is a great place to start.

If it’s your first time looking at an employee benefit package, it’s not unusual to be confused—especially when it comes to health insurance. “Having health insurance is important because of the unknown risks of accidents and unexpected illness,” says Ken Stephens of Employee Benefit Design. “With the cost of medical bills, this could cause devastating debt for young people to overcome if they don’t have coverage.”

Employee Health Benefits: Choosing a Plan

Before you make your decision, think carefully about your life now, and what your plans for the future are to help decide which benefits package you choose.

Option 1: PPO

(Preferred Provider Organization)

Lower deductible to meet, but a higher monthly cost.

Better for young families who are more likely to be visiting a doctor regularly since they’re more likely to meet a lower deductible and activate their coverage sooner.

Option 2: HSA

(Health Savings Account)

Higher deductible, but lower monthly cost.

Better for single young professionals who want more money in their pocket and are less likely to frequently visit the doctor or to have ongoing medical issues.

What Is a Deductible?

Your deductible is how much you need to pay before your insurance begins covering the cost. If you have a $3,000 deductible, you’ll have to pay $3,000 in medical expenses before the insurance kicks in.

Still Confused?

Talk to the HR department where you work or, if it’s an offer of employment, speak to the insurance provider. Both should have the information and guidance available to help you make a choice.