Starting a new job is exciting, and you should feel proud of yourself for arriving at this point! The next task is to get set up, and to make some important choices that can have far-reaching consequences – namely, the choosing of your benefits. Knowing what kind of insurances to select can make an important difference.

Compare Prices

Depending on the company for which you work, this step is going to look different for everyone. Hopefully, your company offers benefits completely free – and indeed, some benefits (such as flexible hours or a casual dress code) are free, at least on paper. However, especially for smaller, more local businesses, it is a lot more likely that the larger benefits of health insurance, dental insurance, and life insurance will be optional. This will be because the employee will have to pay for some or all of the coverage. Even so – it might be an option well worth the money. Carefully compare prices with your budget, and coverage with your needs in order to make the right decision. Have your budget and your needs figured out before you sit down to do the paperwork.

Read the Details

As you are going about comparing the benefits, make sure you understand what exactly they entail. Don’t make assumptions! There are many details that can derail an insurance policy for a certain situation. Dental insurance will usually only cover medically necessary procedures. Life insurance will have exemptions in cases of suicide or other specific incidents. You’re going to want to be very familiar with not only your needs, but the needs of your family – if you have children, that should radically change how you approach the selection of your benefits. Not only should your insurance be geared towards their wellbeing, but non-insurance benefits can maximize your time with them.

Understand Yourself and the Field

At the end of the day, the selection of benefits is about you, your family, your circumstances – but also the conventions of the field. You should make sure to understand what is expected of you and what you can expect as an employee. If the options presented do not meet the industry standard, that should be a red flag for you. On the other hand, know when to recognize when a benefit is something special, or something that could be particularly helpful for you in a way that is hard to find in your industry.

Your employer may or may not let you adjust your selections after the paperwork is done. Regardless, err on the side of caution and arrive with at least some kind of idea of what you’re looking for. You’ll come out the other side well-equipped and covered!

Check out this article on how recent graduates can lower their health insurance!