The Frugal Shrink Talks Benefits

Hello reader!!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.  I had almost two weeks of sickness (strep plus miscellaneous cold virus) but am on the mend now and am feeling MUCH better.  

I've been thinking about financial goals for the next year, and plan to do a spending challenge for the first half of 2015.  Before I post about that, I thought I'd talk to you about what benefits I opt for through work.  It was time to change our benefits recently and this is what I decided:

* Accident policy- I only had this policy because you could get the full amount reimbursed after having two preventative health visits.  Too much of a hassle.
* Short-term disability- I have three months of expenses in my savings account, so there is no need to keep ST disability.  It was also an expensive and not particularly comprehensive policy.  

* Health insurance- Obviously.  
* Long term disability insurance- The only way I would be without LT disability insurance is if I became stupendously wealthy and my income didn't matter.  If you become disabled, you are looking at  what is generally an 18 month to two year fight to obtain Social Security Disability.  To me, it is better safe than sorry.
* 12% contribution to retirement- I am happy with this contribution for now.  At some point my income will rise thanks to the production-based compensation that we have.  When that happens, I may reduce this contribution so that I can direct dollars to other savings.  However, I am behind on retirement savings since I was in grad school until I was 26 and started my career late.

* FSA contribution- I increased this a lot.  I ran the numbers on what my general out of pocket health care costs are each year and also added in the fee for 10 acupuncture visits ($45 per visit).  Acupuncture helps tremendously with my knee pain, so I need to plan for it and stop acting like I won't need it.  I pay for vision and dental expenses out of pocket, so these costs are also included in my projected FSA costs.  I don't find vision and dental insurance to be that helpful for my needs, so this is the best option.

My paycheck amount will be about the same as it was before, but I am much more pleased with how everything is configured!

Anyone else figuring out their 2015 benefits?


Danavee said…
It's never a good time to be sick, but I'm so sorry you've battled it over the holidays! BOO!

You've given me some things to think about. Our renewal period is over for the year already, but I can think ahead to next year!
I know, it was the pits!! But luckily things were improved a lot by Christmas day. :) Thanks for the sympathy!!
Mrs. GV said…
We actually decreased our FSA for this year because last year we had to scramble to use up the full amount. Last year's went down because of new healthcare rules: my well-woman visit was completely paid for, as was my mammogram. I had to have my first colonoscopy at 41 due to my mom being diagnosed with colon cancer at 51, and it was also 100% paid for because it was preventative care. I had not expected that because I figured I would have to be 50+ to receive that benefit.

We had a couple hundred left in our account in December and the only reason we were able to use it up is because my eye doctor said he could go ahead and charge me the full amount for my tear duct plugs even though we had not finished the procedure.

This year of course since we went down on the amount, we have had more bills. lol A diagnosis of shingles for my husband while we were out of town, and an urgent care that didn't take our insurance took care of a chunk of the money we put in this year. It's a gamble for us each year as to how much we should set aside.
Yay for preventative care being covered but boo for having more bills this year!!! And your poor husband- I've heard shingles are absolutely miserable. :(

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