Leveraging Your Benefits as a Federal Employee
When you first start a new job, there’s a number of different things that you need to adapt to in order to hit the ground running, so to speak. Most people focus on their coworkers, the workload they have to adapt to, or just adjusting their daily schedule. One thing that often gets missed in this scenario is the importance of managing your benefits. Even with recently proposed cuts to various benefits, being a federal employee means you have access to a lot of benefits that the average worker doesn’t. Understanding how to work these benefits to your advantage will make for a better future for you and your family.
One of the first ways that you will see your federal benefits working to your advantage is saving money for medical care/insurance without having to compromise in terms of what type of care you want. More than 200 plans participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), and while different benefits vary for different plans, you can take comfort in two major facts:
1. There are no medical exams or waiting periods involved before you can get started, helpful if you have certain needs that require immediate attention.
2. Your federal agency covers anywhere from 70 to 75 percent of healthcare costs.
Other Federal Employee Benefits
In addition, when it comes to immediate benefits, there are also smaller initiatives that you can take advantage of. For example, all Federal agencies offer something called Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). These free programs allow employees to confidentially handle issues with professional counselors that could potentially negatively affect their health or job performance. These include issues like mental health struggles and substance abuse. For some people, costs and concern over accessibility can put these invaluable services out of reach. There’s also the issue of childcare. Annual childcare costs for an infant can actually outpace public college tuition in some states. However, some federal workplaces have plans in order to lower or handle the cost of this common issue for many families.
Long Term Benefit
Along with saving you money in the short-term, federal benefits make it easier for you to be ready for the long term. For example, the Thrift Savings Plan is similar to a 401K for other jobs, acting as a way to help prepare for retirement. If you are thinking even further, you can opt into a FEGLI plan, a form of life insurance.
Part of the problem many federal employees have is that these types of plans/ideas are the most effective when implemented from the beginning, when you first start receiving benefits. Waiting until “later” or an easier time to act is often money lost. However, it is understandable that it can be a lot to process when you first start a position.
At Secure Choice we offer a benefit analysis as well as supplemental insurance plans to federal employees if you think your current coverage isn’t enough. We can also help answer questions that you may have. Contact us today to learn more – (866) 477-3211